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Malts vs. hops

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We have a little running debate in our office about which beer ingredient provides the bigger variety of flavors: malts or hops? You probably immediately picked one as soon as you read that (as for me, I immediately jumped to hops based on all the new varieties available) but if you take a moment to think it through, it’s a bit difficult to decide. If anything, this debate really showcases the amazing versatility of beer. Let’s break it down.

Hop varieties can include (but are not limited to):
Pine
Grass
Resin
Pot
Catbox
Cedar
Pepper
Orange
Grapefruit
Pineapple
Mango
Passion fruit
Lemongrass
Strawberry
Gooseberry
Rose hips
…And a whole lot more

Malt varieties can include (but are not limited to):
Dough
Bread
Biscuit
Toast
Nuts
Wheat
Caramel
Toffee
Milk Chocolate
Dark Chocolate
Fresh coffee beans
Brewed coffee
Espresso
Leather
Figs
Raisins
…And a whole lot more

I could keep jotting down the malt and hop flavors we typically pull out of beer, but you get the idea.

Which of the two do you think is more versatile?
[poll id=”19″]

 

Author
Chris Staten is DRAFT’s beer editor. Follow him on Twitter at @DRAFTbeereditor and email him at chris.staten@draftmag.com.

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2 Comments

  • Hipster Brewfus (@HipsterBrewfus) says:

    I’ll take malts all day. Sometimes though, I feel a lot of the flavors people get out of their beers in general, hops or malts, are horseshit and made up.

  • Stuart says:

    What about yeast? Each strain has a different flavor profile.

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