Hops are one of those ingredients in beer which gives a subtle flavor to the beer and if right balance does not strikes it can make the beer drinking experience a nightmare. Hops are the clusters of flowers of the plant commonly called as seed cones or strobiles, and scientifically belong to the hop species, Humulus lupulus. The main use as all know is of flavoring and as stability agent in beer, to which they impart a bitter, tangy flavor, though hops are also used for different reasons in other beverages and as herbal medicine. Hops were cultivated continuously around the 8th or 9th century AD in Bohemian gardens in the Hallertau district of Bavaria and other parts of Europe. Countries like Germany, America, U.K, China, Albania, Ethiopia, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Korea, Slovenia, and Poland are among the top ten countries which produce hops.
While most of the American bred hops like Apollo are characterized by its exceptional high percentage of alpha acids and excellent storage stability. While other variety called Bravo is an excellent bitter hop that provides pleasant fruity and floral aroma and Calypso is a dual-purpose high alpha hop with aromas of pear, apple and earthy tea. Many good American brands like Bud Light (28.3%), Budweiser (11.9%) and Coors Light (9.9%) use these American hops. Corona Extra is the #1 imported beers followed by Heineken which are top rated, most sold beers in America and most part of the world.
Among the other famous varieties of hops are Hallertauer Herkules which are cross between Hallertauer Taurus and a powdery mildew resistant Hull male breeding line. Hallertauer Magnum is a bitter aroma type bred (1980) at Hüll, the German Hop Research Institute. It was bred from the American variety Galena with a German male hop contributing to a smooth bitter combination with a nice aroma. This variety is now also cultivated in the U.S.A. Another variety is Hallertauer Taurus which is high to super-high alpha bitter hop. Opal another variant exhibits excellent aroma characteristics combined with a sweet spice, slightly peppery aroma and flavor combined with a light, clean citrus fruit aroma. The hoppier beers using these German hops like Oettinger, Bitburger, Veltins, Kingfisher, Sternberg, Kotsberg, have these distinct aromas and flavor which may range from mild to strong. Cheers