Updated: Mar 5, 2019
Hops are one of the most important ingredients in both ales and lagers. While most people understand that hops add bitterness (measured by IBU), they aren't as aware of the fact that hops can also add rich flavors and aromas depending on when they are added in the beer making process. These aromas and flavors range from traditional earthy and piney flavors to explosive tropical fruit and candy-like flavors. Hops also act as a natural preservative. We love hops and use them to define several of our beer's flavor profiles as well as their mouthfeel.
Can hops grow in Missouri?
While the Pacific Northwest is known as a hop mecca, not may other places in the US have gained much attention for their hop growing programs. Michigan has a rich hop farming community and other regions are starting to following suit. This year we've joined the quest to put our region on the hop growing map. We have 3 varieties that have already come to life in our greenhouse, and we'll begin planting them at the top of the vineyard as soon as weather allows.
For close to 30 years Villa Antonio has grown, grapes, cherries, various berries, and many other fruits and vegetables, so hops seem a natural fit for us. Missouri's soil and climate suits hop plants well and there are reports of people growing hops in Missouri back to colonial times. This fall you'll experience the fruits of our labor as we begin offering fresh "wet hopped" ales. We'll also be aging some of these hops for our wild and spontaneously fermented ales that will begin pouring in the Spring and Summer of 2020.
Stay tuned for more info and photos and please come see them for yourself!