So Fresh, So Green

Hop heaven! Photo: Grapes and Grain

While September is usually synonymous with trips to apple orchards and pumpkin patches, this month also signals harvest time for hops, the cone-shaped flowers that impart bitterness and aromatics to beer.

Typically, the moist, sticky hops travel directly from a bine to a kiln, where the hops are dried and either pelletized or packaged in bales for later usage. That’s because the fragrant cones are akin to recently cut grass, which rapidly goes from fragrant to rotten. Still, not every hop has a date with an oven.

Within the 24-hour freshness window, some newly harvested hops are rushed to breweries, where they help create fall’s fleeting brew delicacy: fresh-hopped beer.

Want to hear more about the style? Check out my article at the Daily Meal. Drink it up!