Does All Beer Have Hops?

Today we will tackle the question, “does all beer have hops.” This is a question that has been debated in pubs and breweries for years and is one we get asked quite frequently here at Make Beer Easy. The short answer is: yes, all beer does have hops and here is why…

What Are Hops and Why Are They Important?

Hops are the green, cone-like flowers that come from the hop plant. They give beer its bitterness, flavor, and aroma. Without them, beer would be flat and bland. Think about it: if you removed them from your favorite IPA, it wouldn’t taste much more than watery malt. Hops balance out the sweetness from the malt and provide a pleasant bitterness that cuts through the richness.

Does All Beer Have Hops?

Although, in theory, you could make beer without hops, it wouldn’t technically be considered “beer.” It would be more like a sweet, malty drink. Some historical beers, like ancient ales, were made without hops, but they were much sweeter and thicker than modern beers, and spices and herbs were used in their place. Nowadays, all beers are made with hops as they improve the taste of the beer, and they also have preservative qualities.

How Do Hops Affect the Flavor of Beer?

Hops come in various varieties, each with its unique flavor profile. Some are citrusy and fruity, while others are earthy and spicy. Some varieties even have notes of pine or grapefruit. So as you can see, the variety you use can significantly affect the flavor of your beer. 

Hops beside a pint of beer next to the words "does all beer have hops".
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For example, if you use a lot of Cascade, you’ll get a beer that’s very citrusy and grapefruity. On the other hand, if you use a lot of Centennial, you’ll get a more piney and earthy beer.

What Happens if You Don’t Use Hops in Beer?

If you don’t use hops in beer, you’ll get a beer that’s sweet, malty, and lacking in bitterness. It might be okay for some people, but it would be a real letdown for most beer drinkers. Hops give beer its bite, its complexity, and its character. Without them, beer would be one-dimensional and boring.

Last Call

So there you have it, gang. Does all beer have hops? Yes, they do. They are an essential ingredient that gives beer its bitterness, flavor, and aroma. So, the next time you raise a pint, to hops as they are a major factor in what makes the beer you are drinking what it is.

P.S. Be sure to grab our gift of Big Robbs’s top 5 favorite beer recipes from his brewpub.  Details are on the side of the blog or at the bottom if you are on your phone.  Cheers!

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