Newsletter: Beyond beer with hops

Humulus Lupulus (AKA Hops!)

This week we saw two loads of kegged beer head out the brewery doors! One batch is destined for South Dakota and the other for Wisconsin. Now you will be able to get Burning Brothers beer on tap in states besides Minnesota. Prost!

Ask the Brewer

Are hops used for anything besides beer?

While the first documented use of hops in beer dates back to the 9th century, hops actually have a long history of being used for a variety of reasons with some references going as far back as Roman times (Pliny the Elder in 23-79 AD). At that time, hops grew wild and the fresh spring shoots would be consumed much the same way we eat asparagus today. By the 14th century, hops were regularly being used in the Netherlands for ales.

Medicinally, hops have historically been known to help with both stomach issues and to address trouble sleeping. Today, they are also being investigated for their antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-cancer properties.

  • The oils that make hops bitter also make them an effective tonic for stomach issues as they help to improve appetite and cure indigestion.
  • Since hops are a member of the Cannabaceae family, it should also come as no surprise that they can have a sedative effect. In fact, they are often found in sleep aids along with Valerian, another herb known to promote the Z’s.
  • The antibacterial and anti-fungal properties in hops are due to the bitter acids contained within the flowers. India Pale Ales came about because English brewers needed to add extra hops to the beer being shipped to India during the late 1800’s. Without the additional hops, the beer would spoil before reaching it’s final destination.
  • Hops bittering agents are also being evaluated as a cancer preventative with initial research indicating that they can reduce the size and number of some cancerous lesions.

And here we thought that hops in beer was just an indulgence!

Taproom Tidings

This second weekend of November continues our new tradition of food on Saturdays. The fine folks with the Tatanka Truck will be here on both Friday and Saturday, as well as the following Friday (11/20) slinging their Native American deliciousness. The Saturday following (11/21) brings us something new with the arrival of the Signature on Wheels truck bringing locally inspired chef favorites to this taproom.

The taproom is open its regular hours all weekend with growler and grumbler fills available all of the days we are open.

  • Thirsty Thursdays is your chance for $1 off pints and $2 off growler fills (Remember, St. Paul doesn’t let us fill growlers after 8pm on Thursdays, so get here early)
  • Tantalize your taste buds with our seasonal offering of Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes from Groundswell. Pumpkin cake with cheesecake filling and cinnamon whipped cream
  • Tap selection includes Pyro APA, Roasted Coffee Ale, Fused Orange Blossom Honey, Cranberry Shandy and Raj-Agni IPA

Final Thoughts

For those of you who don’t fear the winter (and love good beer), the tickets for the Winter Beer Dabbler have just gone on sale. This is by far our favorite beer festival but isn’t for the faint of heart (you try keeping the beer flowing when it’s below zero!). February 6th from 3:30 – 7:30pm at the MN State Fairgrounds, it includes samples from 120+ local, regional, and national craft breweries, live music, and fun winter activities. You can find tickets at the Beer Dabbler website.

As always, if you have questions, drop us a note via Email, Facebook, Genome Sequencing, Twitter or Google+.