As a grower/producer of Hop plants with over 33 varieties in the production schedule, I am inevitably ask to recommend what Hops are the best. That is a loaded question- like; What should be my favorite song? or What should be my favorite beer?
I can't pick the best hop for you, but I can give you a little insight into how to select Hop varieties to grow. Ones that you will like and will grow well in your area.
Let's begin by narrowing down the field a bit. You want Hops; not ornamental hops from the local garden center (like Sunbeam), not Japanese Hops (an invasive weed), not Hops grown from seed (could be male or female plants), and not wild hops you found growing in a ditch ('cause you have no idea of their brewing characteristics). You want Hop plants or rhizome cuttings from a reputable source that are disease-free, and are indeed, the variety of female Hop plant they are claimed to be. (There are a ton of secondary sellers of rhizome sticks out there on the Internet that are truly junk; so ask if they are certified producers or who their source is.)
Lupulin - What is it? How did it get in my beer?!!
Did you ever hear someone being described as being loopy (like whacko, nuts, loco, or acting stupid)? Well, the term comes from olden days of yore (pre-pharmaceutical days).
In the good ole ' days before aspirin and vicodin, the doctor would sedate you with compressed tablets of lupulin before they yanked your teeth out , operated, or set upon you with leeches. The lupulin was the yellow pollen stuff found in Hop plant cones! Patients under the influence of luplin ingestion were described as "loopy".
The history of beer brewing is fascinating; especially how it developed in the USA. Starting with Puritans sending hops to the colony of pilgrims at Plymouth Rock to the heydays of Detroit brewers after Prohibition. I encourage you to search out on the Internet and learn more about our hertitage of beer brewing. It doesn't seem to matter what your individual hertitage or ethnicity is; somewhere in your ancestory beer making is involved. Check it out! Following is a very, very condensed version of the history of beer that only briefly covers a few aspects of how beer ever came to be in the first place.
Lynn, the head hop grower at Great Lakes Hops has over 30 years of experience in the horticultural field. Browse the blog articles here to find useful growing information for humulus lupulus, based on personal experience and observations at Great Lakes Hops.