HOP FOR THE BETTER, HOPE FOR THE BITTER!
Why “Hop for the better, Hope for the bitter”?! We’ll get to that. But first let’s break down the elements of this slogan that came to me on a sleepless night when I was having pillow talk with myself. ;-/
Bitter?! When one thinks of “bitter”, it usually denotes something undesirable; “it was bitter cold”, “she/he was ‘bitter’ towards me”, or literally a visceral reaction to something eaten that is bitter. I had that experience; when I volunteered to try some hop extract last summer, and honestly it took hours to get the taste out of my mouth. It’s acidic, enzymatic…if you have ever drank too much and it came back up, you know what I’m talking about. It was the “gift that kept on giving” and almost brought tears to my eyes. My “up for anything personality” got the bitter of me! (Pun intended). But let’s not go there!
It was thought that parts of the tongue were responsible for certain tastes: sweet, salty, sour and bitter. Four “basics”, like the four basic food groups which are now replaced by the food pyramid, which I think has been replaced by….whatever you want to eat. (After having used yourself as a human guinea pig)! The “tongue” actually can taste many things, six or more basic tastes but certain parts of the tongue are mores sensitive to the four big basics. The back of the tongue is responsible for picking up on the bitter…not surprising!
So why is bitter good? Hops by nature are bitter. Some varieties more then others. The two big categories are aroma hops and bittering hops. The brewmaster has a huge canvas to work from since there are so many varieties within these two categories. That is why craft brewing will not be going away, any time soon. As beer lovers pallets explore the amazing variety and personality of craft brewers, they are able to pick up the nuances of each brew and even identify the myriad of hops available. (Thank you Yakima, Washington, USA and Poland)! Your IPA is more bitter by nature. Ales, back in the 1500’s did not use hops and it was even illegal in England for a time to use them. But, because of the fringe benefits of hops, Ales now generally are brewed with hops however there are many craft brewers that still do Ales “old school” using gruit. Google it!
IMPORTANT!!! …”as a result of its own bitterness, hops keeps some putrefactions from drinks, to which it may be added, so that they may last so much longer”! -Medieval Press. THIS IS HUGE!!! Hops is a natural antibacterial and antimicrobial and enabled beer to be stored safely SO MUCH LONGER! The term “seasonal” was legit back in the old days. . When the ales ran out, people got edgy and aggressive. But now hops changed the landscape of beer and launched it into a whole new universe to the delight …of EVERYONE! Beer became a catalyst for peace. The pyramids were built on beer, my brother-in-laws backyard is built on beer! (Love you Scott)!;-)
So, here we are, closing in on retirement years, having been self employed in a whishy-washy economy that is uncertain, we asked ourselves; “Why not do we love”? What do we really have to lose? Einstein said, “the only failure is not to try”. Tim loves beer and he loves brewing it even more. (Picture a hippopotamus living in it’s own salad bowl and you have Tim in the brewery:-) I have always said he brews, “beautiful beer”. I use that term because it is complex and beauty is defined in so many different ways. But it’s true. I see his artistry in his complex recipes that are considered with thought. His beer is as thoughtfully crafted as a beautiful piece of dance choreography or an awesome song. Yep, I went there! Me, the “long distance thinker” as I have been told.
Contemplating, (which means as aforementioned, sleepless nights), gave birth to, ‘hop for the better, hope for the bitter’!, This is a huge career move, and is exciting! “Hop for the better represents joy and excitement and courage to embark on such a big project. “Hope for the bitter represents the complexity and stability that hops have, a preserving quality that brings families, friends and communities closer. So what say you?
Hop For the Better, Hope for the Bitter! Yes indeed!