It's a Bine, Not a Vine - Literary Review of Hop Varieties
Hops (the flowers of the Humulus lupulus plant) are an important and essential part of the beer brewing process as well as in the taste and fragrance of the final product. During the brewing process, hops are isomerized into alpha and beta acids that balance out the sweetness of the malt by providing bitterness, measured in International Bittering Units (or IBUs) or aroma respectively. Based on geographical location or strain of hop grown, the flower can provide numerous different flavor and aroma profiles, as well as essential oils, flavonoids, and antimicrobial properties. In addition, the time and temperature at which hops are added during the brewing process can dramatically change the taste or smell of the beverage produced. The flavors and aromatic properties in each kind of hop also contribute to the style of beer produced. Some varieties are better than others (or should be completely avoided) for some beer styles, but a few of them can also be used interchangeably, as arranged on the Flavor Profile Wheel of Hops Varieties. These findings led to the creation of this diagram to help give a visual showcase of how hops could be classified.