Ryan Scorgie and Lewis Morris enjoy their beer Saturday during the Great Okanagan Berr Festival at Waterfront Park. - Credit: Carli Berry/Capital News Ryan Scorgie and Lewis Morris enjoy their beer Saturday during the Great Okanagan Berr Festival at Waterfront Park. - Credit: Carli Berry/Capital News

Hops provide beer with so much more than just bitterness

Ask the brewmaster at the Great Okanagan Beer Festival in Kelowna

The bitterness of hops is an acquired taste according to a Port Moody brewmaster.

Hundreds gathered for the fourth annual Great Okanagan Beer Festival at Waterfront Park which started Friday and ends Sunday. The festival features more than 70 breweries including Moody Ales from Port Moody.

Brewmaster Roxanne Cartwright said hops are especially important to beer as it provides the drink with flavour and aroma, not just bitterness that’s typically associated with it.

“I believe it is an acquired taste because it is truly something that is unnatural to the human pallet, it’s the hop plant’s way of saying ‘don’t eat me, I’m bitter,’ but it grows on you.”

It’s possible to have a hoppy beer without the bitterness too, she said.

“You can have a hoppy beer, but have all the hops as just aroma. Or you can have a hoppy beer that’s just flavour… hops are in beer to help balance the sugars. You have malts and you have hops and when a beer is balanced you don’t even notice one of the elements being too strong.”

In times where refrigerators didn’t exist, hops were used to preserve the beer and the ingredient evolved into a staple for the drink today.

But for the beer newbie, who is wary of bitterness, she recommends sampling different things and using the rating on the International Bitterness Unit scale to determine your level of hop.

“Once you really start to appreciate the flavour, you can’t get enough of it,” she said.

True beer connoisseurs “just crave that hop flavour and there are so many different types of hops, you have citrus, you have spice.”

She recommends a dry hop sour, for beginners who enjoy the citrus flavour. An ISA is another good starting point.

“Don’t start with a double IPA, that’s a bit of a shock to the pallet,” Cartwright laughed.

Festival goers Lewis Morris and Ryan Scorgie started with ciders Saturday and worked their way to an IPA.

Scorgie said he enjoys the Four Winds IPA, and they both enjoy the taste of hops.

@carliberry_
carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Traffic disruption expected on Highway 1 at Bruhn Bridge

Bridge maintenance will close one lane of the TCH beginning March 19

High number of commercial vehicles taken off road disappoints

Trucking association notes enforcement checks target problem trucks, lobbies for mandatory training

Compassionate response to New Zealand shootings resonates

City of Salmon Arm offers condolences and support for Muslim community, at home and abroad

Rural home sought for feral cats facing eviction

Critteraid says the Shuswap cats could help keep a property free of rodents

Residents weigh in on protecting Sicamous from flooding

Survey and open house allow chance to suggest priorities for flood barrier

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

Warm temperatures here to stay in Kelowna

Spring has finally sprung in the Central Okanagan

Kelowna welcomes building permit applications for “earth homes”

Kelowna welcomes carriage and container “earth homes” when mandatory inspections are completed

EDITORIAL: The quest to assign blame

Instead of sympathy, some have worked to distance themselves from these attacks or to assign blame.

Kelowna suspect charged in string of bank robberies

RCMP have charged a 58-year-old man with three counts of robbery

Blasting begins in Mission Hill area

The blasting in West Kelowna will begin March 21 and end March 27

Mission Creek Greenway gets pruned

Vegetation pruning will continue until the end of the month

‘Considerably large’ tractor tire fell and killed 3-year-old girl on B.C. farm

Delta’s deputy fire chief said crews tried to helicopter girl out after a tractor tire leaning against a barn fell onto her

Most Read