Do you enjoy beer? I confess I’m a fan of beverages with a slightly bitter edge. Hops provide the bitterness, a nice counterpoint to the sweetness of malt. Though depending on the hop, it can also create a citrusy flavor as well.

I’m always amazed by what people create and the ways we experiment to try to make something better. The first documented use of hops was back in the 9th century. Prior to a widespread use of hops, brewers used ‘gruit’ to flavor the beer. Gruit could be any combination of plants like dandelion, burdock root, marigold, horehound, ground ivy and heather. As time wore on, brewers noticed that batches with hops didn’t spoil as readily as beer without hops. It would seem hops have a natural antimicrobial element. Voila, the beer we know today was born.

When I came across photos of hops, I was enchanted. Tell me these aren’t a photogenic plant.

Here’s a quote from Wikipedia about how hops are dried and processed: Harvest comes near the end of summer when the bines are pulled down and the flowers are taken to a hop house or oast house for drying. Hop houses are two-story buildings, of which the upper story has a slatted floor covered with burlap. Here the flowers are poured out and raked even. A heating unit on the lower floor is used to dry the hops. When dry, the hops are moved to a press, a sturdy box with a plunger. Two long pieces of burlap are laid into the hop press at right angles, the hops are poured in and compressed into bales. (Source)

FunFacts about Hops (Source) (Source)

  • Hops are flowers of the plant Humulus lupulus. The flower is called a seed cone or a strobile.
  • Hops are used to add flavor and stability to beer and range from citric, to bitter, to zesty.
  • As an herbal medicine, hops have been used as a sedative, an anti-inflammatory, estrogen support, and as an antimicrobial.
  • Hops are native to Europe but have been cultivated all over the world.
  • The first documented use of hops in beer-making is from the 9th century. 
  • The key component of hops that made it so popular was its antimicrobial effect. Brewers noticed beer made with hops was less likely to spoil.
  • Hop plants like the same soil as potatoes. But hops need a moist temperate climate.
  • Hops are a climbing plant.

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Over ***

We have a winner! Congrats, Tamara K.!!!

For a chance to win this paranormal romance bracelet, scroll to the bottom of the page and read the details for entering. You will be leaving a comment as the entry requirement. Giveaway ends midnight, Arizona time, September 28, 2017.

September Winners: Malissa P., Denise H. and Betty O.!

August Winners: Kim S., Dianne K. C., Pansy P., Tamara K. and Marie S.

And now, here are the photos! Enjoy!  (Photos from Pixabay…)

I hope you enjoyed these photos. Be sure to keep scrolling to leave a comment for the weekly prize draw. Details below!

Caris Roane Home Page

~ ~ ~   ~ ~ ~   ~ ~ ~   ~ ~ ~   ~ ~ ~

Sign up for my newsletter!

For more about my books, check out my Books Page!

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Over ***

We have a winner! Congrats, Tamara K.!!!

September Winners: Denise H. and Betty O.! Congrats!

August Winners: Kim S., Dianne K.C., Pansy P., Tamara K., Marie S.

To be in the running for this handcrafted paranormal romance bracelet, made by yours truly, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post. Also, feel free to post comments on every Caris Roane blog, Monday thru Thursday this week, to increase your chances of winning this week’s prize drawing. Only one win per month allowed!

New contest ends midnight, Arizona time, on Thursday, September 28, 2017! On Friday, September 29th, Arizona time, I’ll select the winning blog then the winning comment. I’ll use Random.org to make my selection! You may only win once per month. International winner receives gift card.

*** This week’s giveaway! *** To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about hops. Have you ever grown hops? Have you ever made beer at home? Which photo did you like best? Feel free to share whatever comes to mind and share from the heart. 

*** And tell us where you’re from! I’m from Buckeye, Arizona, not far from Phoenix. (That’s the Desert Southwest, USA.) ***

Above all: Live the fang!!!

25 thoughts on “Hops

  1. Hi, Everyone!
    For those of you just receiving my blog, I don’t know what went wrong. I had it scheduled and everything for 1:00 am Arizona time. I’m so used to everything working, that I didn’t check to make sure it had launched until now! Ugh. I usually read everyone’s comments about now, something I look forward to. Imagine my dismay when I saw the blog hadn’t been posted. Boo!

    Ah, well. Sometimes the string breaks…

    Even though it’s late…enjoy!

    Love you all,

  2. Love the interesting facts about hops. I loved picture #3 the best! I’ve never tried making my own beer and never intend to – only drink it! Nothing like a cold beer with pasta!! 🙂

  3. I’ve never been a fan of beer…bad associations from childhood, I guess. Those are interesting-looking plants, though, and I am glad to finally see what they look like. I have often heard about hops in relation to beer, but have never seen the plant. You have the most interesting posts, thanks for your hard work in helping educate us. (0;

  4. I use to enjoy an occasional beer on one of NC’s hot, sultry nights.

    Then suddenly I became allergic to it.
    My lips went numb and temporarily lost my hearing.

    Miss it, but can’t risk ever drinking it again.

  5. I am definitely a beer girl! I really don’t like the tast of the hard stuff, or fruity drinks. I have never actually seen a hops plant before, so thanks for enlightening me about them. They look like tiny banana bushels lol.

  6. We don’t drink alcohol in my family so I don’t know anything about this subject. I was surprised to learn hope was used for medicinal purposes. I wonder how it worked. From the photos it looks like the plants can get quite tall. Photo #5 looks like the wind has blown it around some. Thanks for telling me something I knew nothing about once again!!!!

  7. Interesting facts! I’m a beer girl myself. I’ve always been tempting to try to make my own…might be a project for next year!

  8. I like the looks of hops growing but can’t stand beer. I’m allergic to the combo of yeast and barley. Drink a couple of sips down with the biggest headache ever. I liked the picture of the buds growing like mini green pinecones.

  9. I was wondering this morning why I didn’t remember yesterday’s topic. A fun one too. I learned a bit too. I only know that I like a more hoppy beer like a stout or lauger. I also know that it is becoming a popular crop for the local farms here in mid-west Michigan (Yes, we grow a lot of potatoes too.) and that we had our very own Brewery open up a couple years ago – The Big Hart Brewing Company.

    This is a lovely, and interesting plant. Thank you for sharing the pictures and fun facts.

  10. I love photo #3! I drink mostly wine but i do like a cold beer every now and then. I’ve heard of Hops but have never seen them . Thanks for the pics and the info!

  11. I like beer, but I don’t drink it often.

    I’ve seen it grown, but I’ve never grown hops. I have never made my own beer.

    I’ve been to the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Williamsburg–was an interesting tour–but I was underage at the time, so I wasn’t able to have the 2 free samples they offer. We have a couple of microbreweries locally.

    I remember being in an Irish pub in the Village in NYC, and you had to buy two pints of beer–had a choice of dark or light. We ate fish and chips. Was a trip I took with some art students in college. That’s all they served. Looked it up:
    East Village, McSorley’s is a New York institution. The historic pub has been pouring drafts in the East Village since 1862, making it the oldest tavern in the city (it was one of the last “men-only” pubs in New York — finally allowing women in 1970). It famously offers just two beers — the house ale, either light or dark (two for $5.50) — and absolutely nothing else.

    Going to it was my first NYC subway experience. I’d been on the Metro in DC before, but it’s a different experience.

    denise from maryland

  12. As always, your comments were so much fun to read. I love hearing about everyone’s preferences and experiences. About the time I came to love beer, I found out I couldn’t tolerate it because of gluten issues. Big, fat ugh! So, I could totally relate to those who mentioned being unable to tolerate beer.

    This past week, my sister was here visiting and she told me that our dad, when a teenager, worked in a hop field during the harvest. This was a piece of history I didn’t know until this week.

    Today (Saturday), I’m working on next week’s blogs. I have some fun ones coming up: Paris, cupcakes, elephants and pomegranates. Can’t wait to dig into a bit of research and discover some intriguing facts to share.

    Hugs all around,

Leave a Reply