Hops, part 2: hops’ worst enemy
We have a saying at the Fridge regarding the IPA trend: "There are those who like it and those who will like that!" Hops are practically essential these days, they are valued everywhere. This is an excellent thing, because its varieties are diverse, its palette of aromas is almost infinite and it plays the role of a grape variety in beer.
For those who have had a bad experience with an IPA (too bitter, too strong aftertaste, too alcoholic, etc.), don't be afraid of hops anymore! It is now worked with finesse, in lighter and gentler recipes, to give maximum flavors without tearing the taste buds. Cold hopping, which boils down to infusing the hops after brewing, makes it possible to make Belgian whites, German weizens and seasonals with notes of citrus, exotic fruits and fir while being easy to approach.
However, hop flavors are fragile and ephemeral, so there are a few basic rules to follow when purchasing hoppy beers. Firstly, the worst enemy of hops is time, so drink fresh! Based on our personal experiences, hops are seriously weakened after more than 3 months in the bottle. Look at the bottling date and look forward to a freshly bottled beer, doubt IPAs that are older than 3 months and avoid anything older than 6 months. If there is no date, ask us to help you. This way, the taste will always be there ;)
Another tip: UV rays (sun, neon) are responsible for the “skunk” smell in hoppy beers. Cans and brown bottles are well protected, but transparent and green bottles are no exception. This is why the famous Heineken in a bottle smells like the urine of the formidable predator! Don't leave your beer in direct contact with the sun and you'll be on your way to enjoying a tasty beer :)
Looking forward to it!
- Le Fridge Team