For nearly two millennia, flowers of Humulus lupulus, commonly known as hops, have been a significant part of human existence, first as a food source valued for its medicinal properties, then becoming an inseparable component of beer where the flowers provide antimicrobial properties against bacteria, helping to increase storage, stability, and sterilization of beer. Hop residues also enrich and stabilize beer foam and encourage foam lacing, which gives beer aromatic and aesthetic qualities as foam brings volatile compounds out of the beer solution to the surface for more proximate interaction with olfactory senses.
Besides beer, hops have found to be useful in deodorants as a contribution of their anti-bacterial properties, in perfumes and beard oils for their lovely aromatic qualities, and for their many pharmacological properties which include anticancer, chemoprevention, cardiovascular protection, anti-inflammation, antiobesity, antioxidation, antiviral and as treatments for menopause and osteoporosis.
Hops are rarely used for anything else beyond the brewing process; thus much of the focus has been on developing new varieties, increasing yield and disease resistance in hop production for the brewing industry, which has confined commercial production in temperate regions of the United States since introduction of the crop in the early 1800’s.
It would not be until recently that hops are in non-traditional areas. The first recorded scientific study of hop production in Florida wasn’t until 2015. Since then, interest in hop production, powered by the craft beer industry and the craving for locally produced agriculture, has grown rapidly. Much like grapes, hops take on the characteristics of its growing environment, giving Florida grown hops new and unique flavors and aromas previously unknown in traditional hop producing regions.
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