Hop Plant (Humulus lupulus)

Hops are the flowers of Humulus lupulus. Although Hops are used to make medicines and can be found in antiperspirants, they are mostly used in beer brewing. The hop was first documented in the 9th century as an agent for beer brewing, before its discovery gruit was used, containing a collection of herbs including heather, ground ivy, horehound, marigold burdock root, and dandelion. There are two species of hops in the hemp family, Nonwoody annual and perennial vines.

It is believed that traditional herb combination for beer brewing was abandoned after the discovery of hops after it was discovered that beers made with hops were less prone to spoilage. In the past 1200 years, hops have been used almost exclusively for the brewing of beer, before brewing hops are dried usually in an oast house though wet hops are sometimes used. The hops are then boiled in wort (the liquid produced from malt). 

The world’s largest producer of hops is Ethiopia, producing over 40,074 tonnes yearly. The second-largest producer of hops in the United States of America, producing 39,356 tonnes yearly. Though hops are grown in most of the continental United States, the commercial growth of hops requires a specific environment. Hops generally prefer well-drained loamy soil.

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