Saturday, October 18, 2008

On flowers

So, today was Concord's Oktoberfest, ja? The LA and I went, thinking I could check out some local microbrews, but we found a distinct shortage of beers I wanted. This was because of one thing they all had in common.

Cascade hops.

The Cascade hop is the curse of the American microbrew. Yes, it grows better than any other hop variety in the USA's climate. This does not make it the right choice for American beers, however, as it is extraordinarily bitter, and lacks any subtlety in its flavour. Indeed, Cascade hops are almost guaranteed to render me nauseous. I suppose if one's suddenly discovering that beer can have flavour, then it's perfectly possible to become used to Cascade, but frankly, to me they are disgusting. Please, anyone who wants to brew, go the extra few bucks and import Fuggles, Challenger, Goldings or Saaz. European hop varieties are FAR more pleasant.

Moreover, please, America, please learn what IPA is actually about. IPAs do tend to be high alcohol and heavily hopped, yes, but they are NOT a competition to see who can make the concoction which most resembles a mixture of corn syrup, Everclear and Bitrex. If you want to know what a proper IPA SHOULD be, kindly take yourself to your nearest BevMo! and look for Meantime India Pale Ale. It's not what you think. What this stuff is, is flavourful and subtle. It's hoppy, yes, but you can still taste something other than hops.


  1. Pacific Northwesterners are incurable hop-heads, unfortunately. And you may have noticed that subtlety is not America's greatest strength.

    In our defense, however, a certain amount of roughness is to be expected due to the violent disruption in our brewing tradition early last century.

  2. There's roughness, and then there's "nauseatingly over-bitter". I will admit that the Cascade does have a lovely smell to it, but I far prefer my beer to smell slightly less floral for the benefit of it not violating my tastebuds with a +5 spiked mace of bitterness.


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