But Does It Taste Good?


Yesterday, Coleman Farms, an Oregon hop grower, had an event to unveil the first, very preliminary findings of a study they’re conducting on hop terroir. That research deserves its own post, and it shall receive it. I’d like to take a brief moment to step aside and stroke my chin.

Hop breeding; research into the way hop elements interact with each other, with yeast, with heat and time; the creation of new hop products and hopping techniques—all of this is driving the industry right now. Hopsteiner last week announced the release of Sultana, their latest propriety strain, which follows similar announcements every month or two. This is the world inherited by an industry fueled by lupulin glands.

The event concluded in a field of hops with stations exploring soil and agronomy and terroir. The field contained Strata, another new variety. Standing there, it struck me that the inconceivable hours of effort put into these collective projects would ultimately be reduced to a consumer’s single, obvious question: “but does it taste good?”

And that, of course, is an entirely subjective, unanswerable question. You do the work and then you see. Sometimes the answer is no.

Jeff Alworth1 Comment