Los Angeles Times: It's hop harvest time. What does that mean for your beer?
“Brewers from across the country are convening in Washington state’s Yakima Valley for the hop harvest, and what they find among the bails and heaped lots of the aromatic ingredient has a big impact on what’s in your beer glass in the coming months — and maybe for years to come.
Hops — a flower-like catkin that grows on long twisting vines, also known as bines — are an integral ingredient in nearly every style of beer. They provide the balancing bitterness and are an important natural preservative and antiseptic that prevents a brew from souring. Hops are also an increasingly important flavor in popular beer styles, and the growing popularity of hop-driven brews such as IPAs has created a dynamic market for the most interesting and vibrant hop varietals.” Read more from The Los Angeles Times.