The day has come.
I didn't think it ever would.
I definitely didn't think it would be so soon...
But I now think there is such a thing as using too many hops in a beer.
And there are breweries out there wasting perfectly good hops in search of loopy lupulin levels.
I love hops. I love it when a beer uses lots of them. But some beers just use too many. These beers, otherwise perfectly excellent, are thick and tangy and overpowered with hops. They sting the tastebuds, blunt the enjoyment and they bring a wow that is on the shocked side of the reaction rather than the pleased side.
Hops are incredible little things. They make beer exciting whether used liberally or with balance. And I want to be able to taste the hops. I want that hit of aroma, that quench at the end of the gulp, that clinging bitter feeling that makes me want to drink more, but I don't want to feel like I've just licked a hop sack or sucked on a handful of pellets. The thing is, when you use too many hops it just tastes too intense, too muddy, unclear. That’s what I don’t like. It’s great to use lots of hops but I want a clarity of flavour from them, not just an upper cut to the uvula.
Hops are aggressive in a way that malt can’t be. Malt can be big and soft and cuddly whereas hops can be fighty and screamy. Skill from a brewer is finding a balance, even if that balance is weighed down on one side or the other. Getting that balance right means I’ll drink more than half a pint of it or order another bottle of it.
I love hops but recently I've tasted too many beers which use too many hops.
Am I alone in thinking that hops are being wasted unnecessarily or have others find beers that are just too bitter to enjoy?