If you’ve ever sipped a cool, refreshing summer brew or a dark, brooding IPA, you’ve experienced a hops or two. Maybe you were unaware of what exactly it was you were tasting, but that unmistakeable hop taste (whether super faint or center stage), likely stayed with you in both memory and mouth.
Bob Bero, and Ohioan with a penchant for good beer, is the maker of B-Hoppy: The Original Hop Candy. As the story goes, Bob was drying some of his home-grown hops when a moment of ingenuity struck: he added some sugar to his existing hops, melted it all down then cooled it, and the candy was born. The homebrewer spent years perfecting these candies and decided on three distinctive flavors: Saaz Hops, Cascade Hops, and East Kent Goldings.
The original hop candies are a true, unmistakable representation of hops at their finest, and a new way to explore the power of hops. Each variation has distinctive floral and citrus flavors that really capture a fresh hop cone without creating any of the residual bitterness that you get when drinking beer. Bob Bero says these hop candies are perfect for those moments you want a “refreshing hop kick” but don’t want (or can’t have) a beer- and I couldn’t agree more.
The beautiful thing about this candy is that it’s all hops – with no yeasty or malty aftertaste you get when drinking a beer. Savor this candy slowly, inhaling as you swirl it around your mouth. Or crunch it between your teeth for a burst of flavor. Go one step further and enhance the hop flavors even more: pop a B-Hoppy into your mouth, then a dash of cocktail bitters, and let it melt between your tongue for a satisfyingly serendipitous experience.
Saaz Hop candy is made with dry and earthy hops traditionally grown in Czech Republic since the mid-1800s. These delicate, herbal hops have a touch of warm spice and are golden amber in color. They are low in alpha acid content (what makes beer bitter), so these hops are predominantly used for their aromatic flavor they impart and less as a bittering agent. Many of your favorite Pilsners, like the original Urquell, Rogue Dead Guy Ale, and Stella Artois, use these hops in their beers today. If you’re a fan of light, earthy brews you’ll go crazy for this hop candy. Pair it with a dash of Bittermen’s Grapefruit Bitters and be transported back to the 19th century- fresh earth hops dancing on your tongue and nose, whirling about the yard in unbridled ecstasy.
Cascade Hop candy is a made using a variety of hop developed in Oregon back in the early 1970s. If you’ve ever tasted a true American Pale Ale, you’ll know that this hops is defined by its unmistakable flowery grapefruit aroma. And that is exactly how this flavor of B-Hoppy tastes on the tongue: irrefutably citrusy, big and bold, with a tinge of orange and a whole bunch of grapefruit. These hops are especially popular amongst West Coast ales due to their high alpha acid content (where beer gets its bitterness); these acids also produce the green hue that give this variety of hop candy its seafoam color. Crisp, clean and delicate with moderate bitterness makes this the signature hop candy, in my opinion. Pair this Cascade Hops candy with a drop or two Hella Citrus Bitters for an explosion of citrus; watch as your mouth, mind and the flowering buds whisper gently at your fingertips and the boundless hopfields unfold before you.
East Kent Goldings is a classic English hops that’s been growing in the region since the late-1700s. These hops are perfect for those just starting out on their hop-voyage. Sweet and juicy, with a mild herbal flavor, the resulting hop candy is certainly a nectarous one on the eyes and the mouth, with a mellow golden yellow color and low-key hop notes. Many English beers (pale ale, brown ale, porter, stout) delight in these hops for the aromatic quality it lends. This candy is tailor-made for those that enjoy these light and refreshing brews, like Sam Adams Deconstructed 48 IPA. East meets West when you pair the flavor of East Kent hops with a dash or two of Texas’ De La Rosa Grapefruit Bitters. Be transported to the English countryside, drizzly and cold and wet as it is, with rays of citrus Texas sunshine peaking through; hoppily find your way home.