If you’ve ever been curious about exactly what’s in your pint, you may be familiar with the term “hop.” Hops are the flowers of the hop plant, Humulus lupulus, and they are a key ingredient in beer. They have all sorts of useful effects, from keeping beer fresh and foamy longer to giving it that signature “hoppy” flavor and aroma.  

So what exactly is the flavor of “hoppiness”? Hop balances out the sweetness of the malt with a slightly bitter taste, which you might hear described as “earthy”, “ floral”, “lemony”, “piney,” or “spicy.” It all comes down to what kind of hop and what style of beer you are drinking.  
Read on to find out some fun facts about hop: 
1. Hop does more than add flavor. It is also valuable in the brewing process because of its antibacterial effects, which help eliminate any undesirable microorganisms. 
2. Hop plants are perennial climbers cultivated in hop fields and hop gardens all around the world, typically in moist, temperate climates. Interestingly enough, the hop plant is related to Cannabis sativa, or the marijuana plant.  

3. Hop always twists in a clockwise direction. Even if you try to untangle it, it still goes back to clockwise. Hop can grow up to 30 centimeters a day! 
4. Hop has been used in brewing since the 9th century, so it comes as no surprise that there are now over 75 known varieties of hop.  
5. Hop is not just used in beer. It can also be found in soft drinks like the Latin American drink Malta. In addition, it is a prized ingredient in some herbal medicines, providing a relaxing effect that alleviates insomnia and anxiety.  
6. Hop can be eaten, as the shoots of the plant are tender and can be cooked just like asparagus.  
7. Even better, scientists are looking into the use of hop in hormone replacement therapy and to relieve problems related to menstruation. Will the wonders of hop never cease? 

…. And on top of all that: For hop producers there is a GLOBALG.A.P. Hop sub-scope certification which is recognized against version 7.2 of the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements. 

“The hop industry has worked tirelessly to develop and maintain this sub-scope in partnership with GLOBALG.A.P.,” says Kristian Moeller, Managing Director of GLOBALG.A.P. 

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