Friday, 11 January 2013

For the love of hops by Stan Hieronymus

I waited a long time for this book and it didn't disappoint. It's the second book in the Brewing Elements Series, yeast has already been done and water is in the pipeline. And to think I don't get paid for writing this stuff.

As I've been doing a lot of research on hops myself recently I know the information isn't easy to find and books can be both old and expensive. So I have no hesitation in saying a new book of over 300 pages is really a must.

 Hop breeders and brewers from all the major areas have been consulted and just about everything that would be of interest to a brewer is covered, including hop aroma, hop history, hop growing, hop storage, a variety guide, the various ways hops can be used, and recipes too. Even the Farnham Whitebine gets a brief mention! It's easy to read and everything is covered in detail, except perhaps pellets and products but then they are well covered elsewhere.

There are a few minor typos, but apart from that the only things I'd quibble are English farmers do currently grow male hops and Whitbread Golding Variety is not a landrace.

It may only be January but already there's a strong contender for the Golden Pints 2013!


  1. Thanks for the kind words, Ed.

    You do read with a keen eye. Whitbread Golding landrace mention on page 140, red-faced d'oh. Perhaps than can be changed in future printings.

    1. As Alan says I've been going through the OCB for some time and I guess my eye is in Still the few mistakes I spotted in FTLOH are a couple of order of magnitude less than there are in the OCB.

  2. Stan, Ed is still ripping through the Oxford Companion to Beer and leaving notes at the wiki. Think he has the best eye in beery readership.

    A question about "landrace" however. I understand it represents as a word the division between husbandry and wild. A word of the 1700s perhaps. When you looked at Cluster and described it as a landrace, would you only use the word if the hybridization occurred in the wild as Dutch plantings met their New York forest cousins? Or does it include the potential for intentional 1600 Dutch hop breeding in the Hudson?

    1. If you could sort out a page for "V" on the OCB wiki I've another to add.

    2. Actually, forget that, I've figured out how to do it.

  3. A fine question, Alan. I just wrote, then deleted, 5 paragraphs. Not sure we should hijack Ed's blog, plus I need to give it some thought that does not add to the confusion. I will do that and then write a proper blog post. Briefly:

    a) You are quite correct that landrace is used to make the distinction between husbandry and wild.

    b) It has been used by those "in the business" to describe only hops of European origin (and important genetic distinction).

    c) That's why I wrote Cluster "might" be called a landrace hop (and the one that survives today - obviously many other varieties emerged naturally).

    d) What do you mean by "intentional 1600 Dutch hop breeding?"

    Thanks for your patience, Ed.

  4. I was parking the idea, Stan. Will await you post but it is clear that the 1600s Dutch were farming not just trading and were people of a big beer culture who were capable in providing for themselves. No reason to believe they would not have learned in a few seasons that their hops were tasty but might benefit from local strengths, too.

  5. Ed,
    In case you haven't see this, Stan talks to Brad Smith at

    Podcast download..