Hop Bombs Better With Age and Travel?

I’m travelling today so I don’t have time to really get into it, but Pivni Filosof posted this today:

Taking this [the faster maturation of beers due to heat variations as they cross the ocean] into consideration, could it be that American hop bombs taste “better”* on this side of the pond than at home? Has anyone had the chance to taste one of those beers “fresh” and after it had crossed the Atlantic?

I didn’t drink any American beers in Prague, but I did get to try BrewDog’s Hardcore IPA in Europe and over here in the States, and there’s no comparison: it’s much better when fresh. I’ve also had fresh hop bomb Stone beers both at the brewery and after a few months of age back here at home in Michigan, and those fresh hop flavors fade almost immediately.

Of course, this is all ultimately a palate issue, but I’d say the only hoppy beers that might actually improve with age would be those with a high level of bittering hop with low levels of hop flavor. The age would actually slightly de-bitter the beer, while giving the malt a chance to shine. In general, though, any brewer designing a beer with an emphasis on hops should be brewing beer to be consumed as soon as possible, and thus hoppy beers should be consumed fresh.

Of course, since we’re talking about Czech beer writer, it should go without saying that Pilsner Urquell tastes a thousand times better fresh and close to the source than it does after it’s crossed an ocean even in cans or kegs, let alone the fucking green bottles.


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About danieleharper

Chemist, rationalist, skeptic, feminist, and deeply humanist. Podcasts about Doctor Who and social justice at oispaceman.libsyn.com.

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