I planted these Cascade hops against our garage a few years ago knowing that I would eventually start brewing beer with them, but what I didn’t know then was how amazing and versatile hops could be.
The plants reemerge every spring and shoot up to the top of their rope within weeks then by mid summer they’re covered in hops! They look and smell amazing, creating a lush green wall that fills in thicker every year without being invasive.
Of course hops are excellent for brewing beer but they are so much more versatile than I ever knew. Like other herbs and spices the only limits to their use is your own imagination.
An added bonus to cooking with hops is that they have antibacterial properties that will keep foods from spoiling, which is why they began to be used in brewing beer in the first place, especially in the case of IPA. Indian Pale Ale got its name when kegs of pale ale were packed full of hops in order to preserve them on their long journey to British troops in India. Today’s IPAs are still packed full of hops but for bettering and flavoring with the added benefit of preserving.