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Hop trivia

Some facts related to hops I learned while reading about beers I (mostly) don’t drink:

– InBev uses well over 50% of the Saaz hops produced in the Žatec region of the Czech Republic in brewing Stella Artois. Proof.

– Heineken has more than 21 bitterness units (IBU) and 5.1% alcohol by volume, according to random market sampling. Heineken Premium Light, meanwhile, has half the bitterness and 3.3% abv.

– Samuel Adams Boston Lager has 31 IBU and about 4.9% abv, according to random market sampling. Sam Adams Light has 10 IBU and 4% abv. Proof.

Something I thought you needed to know.

Stella

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11 Responses to Hop trivia

  1. SteveH March 11, 2007 at 6:45 am #

    For Stella Artois? Sheesh.

  2. Loren March 12, 2007 at 4:55 am #

    And doesn’t A-B use pretty much the entire world’s supply of Alsatian Strisselspalt hops? Along with Phil M. at Southampton of course. Boy…talk about polar opposites!

    Cheers!

  3. SteveH March 12, 2007 at 11:31 am #

    I want to know why I can’t taste the Saaz in Stella? How do I express this – is the converse proportion of what is being brewed to the amount of hops they’re hogging really that wide?

    I mean, the amount of hop character in Stella doesn’t reflect the use of 50% of the crop.

    Of course, maybe I need to give more credit to the Zatec farmers’ production quantities!

  4. Ben March 12, 2007 at 2:40 pm #

    29 IBUs in a Heineken? So THAT’S why they’re able to skunk so horribly!

  5. Stan Hieronymus March 13, 2007 at 6:13 am #

    Steve – I would say there is a lot Stella and not a lot of Zatec Saaz.

    Also, if they use it only for bittering then the hop variety will add “elegance” more than flavor or aroma.

    That’s why, for me, this was one of those “geez” facts.

  6. SteveH March 13, 2007 at 9:57 am #

    Also, if they use it only for bittering then the hop variety will add “elegance” more than flavor or aroma.

    But bittering is still flavor, no? And Stella has never struck me as having much hop character at all.

  7. Loren March 14, 2007 at 4:19 am #

    “But bittering is still flavor, no? And Stella has never struck me as having much hop character at all.”

    Depends on the hop variety. Saaz is low in AA% so any flavor imparted with the bittering addition, only, will be very minimal. Now if they used Simcoe…

  8. SteveH March 14, 2007 at 5:48 am #

    Simcoe might actually make Stella worthwhile! 😉

    I’ve never had trouble picking out hop character, no matter the AA percentage.

  9. Stan Hieronymus March 14, 2007 at 6:41 am #

    In fact, if you used Simcoe only for bittering – that is boiling it for 60 minutes – and not for flavor or aroma you might not notice it. Particularly in a low IBU beer.

    Simcoe is one of those hops bred for other strengths – bittering efficiency and stands up to disease – that American brewers have brilliantly turned to for is aroma and flavor.

    Its co-humulone level (I know, ZZZZ) is relatively low, meaning it imparts more of a smooth bitterness. Like Saaz, as opposed to Chinook.

    The grapefruit, pine, peach, orange, etc. are different than Saaz. Great, with reservations. Used wrong, Simcoe can make a beer smell like a litter box.

  10. Loren March 14, 2007 at 7:03 am #

    I still think you would notice something, flavorwise, in a beer just bittered with Simcoe versus one with Saaz. But I’m not a brewer so…

    And if you tried a beer bittered with Fuggles and flavored with Columbus…you think you would notice the Fuggles?

    HA!

    Doubtful.

    Cheers!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Hop Trivia » Hop Talk - March 10, 2007

    […] over at Appellation Beer offers up some trivia about hops. This is, of course, right up our alley, so we thought we’d share. Some factsrelated to hops […]

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