Unleashed on dishes from pizza to cheese, hops deliver aromatics, flavor and sometimes, bitterness. Here’s how to chow down.
Buddha Teas Hop Tea
Certified organic Cascade hop flowers from Clearlake, California, grower Hops-Meister flavor this caffeine-free tea. Steep it as you would any herbal tea for a grapefruity, floral cup. $7.99 for a box of 18 tea bags, buddhateas.com
B-Hoppy Hop Candy
What started as a crossover between homebrewing and confectionary-making has become a niche business for hop candy creator Bob Bero. Choose from a bag of varietal-specific candies (Saaz, Cascade, Motueka and more) or find your favorite among the mixed selections in the variety pack. $4.95 for a 4-ounce bag, hop-head-farms.myshopify.com
Hop Pop Soda
All the flavor you love, without the alcohol. That’s the promise of Hop Pops, a caffeine-free, carbonated soda flavored and bittered with Galaxy and Citra hops. Drink it on its own or use it as a cocktail mixer; you’ll find recipes for vodka-, gin-, whiskey- and rum-based concoctions on the website. $12 for a 4-pack of bottles, drinkhoppop.com
Corvus Cold-Brew Hopped Coffee
Finally, someone’s found a way to justify hops at the breakfast table: Whole-cone Cascade hops add a floral and citrusy layer to this bright Rwandan cold-brew coffee. Find the coffee on draft as well as in bottles at Whole Foods and specialty markets in the Denver area. $4, corvuscoffee.com/pages/cold-brew-coffees
Charles Martell & Sons Hereford Hop Cheese
This full-fat, cow’s milk hard cheese is coated with a layer of toasted Hallertau Hersbrucker hops from Herefordshire, an English county near the cheese maker’s farm. Charles Martell & Sons has produced this distinctly citrusy-buttery cheese since 1990; find it stateside at specialty cheese shops. Prices vary, charlesmartell.com
Dillon’s Hops Bitters
Alpha Aroma, Cascade and Mount Hood hops make these small-batch cocktail bitters, well, bitter, but also add a touch of spice and citrus. The Ontario-based distillery recommends trying them in pineapple- or orange-juice based warm-weather cocktails. $14.95 for a 100mL bottle, dillons.ca
Yakima, Washington-area food truck-turned-brick-and-mortar Hoptown Pizza sprinkles its pies with a dash of Cascade hops after they emerge from a 900-degree wood-fired oven for a whiff of locally grown herbaceousness. Pie flavors include Pep Pep Peroni pesto-and-pepperoni; Angry Za hot sauce-and four-cheese; HopTown Harvest veggie and more. Locations at hoptownpizza.com/where
Living The Dream Brewing Co.’s Hop Oil
Carrie Knose, owner of Denver-based Living The Dream brewery, tinkers with hop-flavored oil for home cooking; she says hops can add a savory quality to salad dressings and dipping oils. Recreate her basic dressing recipe by whisking together hop-steeped canola oil (she’s used Chinook and Cascade varieties), minced garlic, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper, adjusting to your flavor preferences.
Want to DIY?
Recipe developer and author Marie Porter has published an entire cookbook devoted to cooking with hops called “Hedonistic Hops.” Inside, find instructions for whipping up everything from Hoppy Citrus IPA-Glazed Wings to Honey Hop Dipping Sauce. $19.99, celebrationgeneration.com