I came across an interesting discussion the other day, whose topic was -Why are German beers so different from their American counterparts? Short answer : Reinheitsgebot! (sneeze!)
Reinheitsgebot is one of the first and oldest consumer protection laws ever passed. It is usually referred to as the German beer purity law and was first proposed in 1487 (no typo!) and passed into law in the year of our Lord 1516. It simply stated that it was illegal to put anything except water, barley, and hops into beer. It was updated and amended into the Provisional German Beer Law which allowed the additions of yeast, wheat malt, and sugar cane (but banned unmalted barley).
I constantly wonder what drives this craft brewing revival. Is it just a re-discovery by a new generation - " something old is now is something new"? Is it a inner compulsion to create something that you can take pride in - "I made that"? Is it that desire of little boys to get that mad scientist chemistry set - (and being brave enough to drink the resulting concoction)? What ever it is, it is not a bunch of cheap drunks - in fact the level of sophistication amazes me.
This "trend" seems to be no flash in the pan, and you can quickly see that just by looking at the drop in the big brewers sales numbers. The number of craft brewers is expanding rapidly. Unfortunately, along with all interest in brewing, a few bad things have popped up along the way and you should be aware of them. One of the biggest IMHO is "hop plants for sale"- the topic of this blog.
Things are winding down to a slower winter pace at Great Lakes Hops.
The hops are settling in for the cold. They are setting their crown buds nicely- I checked them the other day. Heavy buds show the promise of a good up-coming spring season.
I plan on insuring a good start to next season by applying a late fall application of fertilizer. This may sound odd - fertilizing a plant that is totally dormant- but it works.
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.