Hildegard of Bingen, this Middle Ages nun who revealed the virtues of hops.
Hops are today an emblematic element of beer. The IPAs reveal the full richness of their organoleptic palette: floral, mango, passion fruit, pine. A real adventure for our noses before each sip.
Hops are very well known today but they have not always had this recognition. It has been used for 1000 years in beer but it is mainly for its antiseptic properties which allow better conservation of beer.
1000 years ago, beer was called cervoise and its taste had nothing to do with what we drink today. Beer was then an alternative to water at a time when diphtheria was wreaking havoc.
Don't worry, everyone wasn't drunk all the time, the table beer only had 1 degree of alcohol. The bitterness of the hops is then a defect and is compensated by the significant addition of spices which mask the undesirable bitterness.
Why am I telling you all this tonight?
Because Hommelbier is the Belgian hop beer par excellence. It was brewed for the first time in 1981 for the hop festival in the town of Poperinge in Flanders near Ypres.
Poperinge is one of the last Belgian regions where hops are produced.
The Belgians are known throughout the world for their beers but Belgian brewers mainly buy their hops in Germany but also in Slovenia, Poland and the Czech Republic which are the major European hop producing countries.
The recent wave of highly hopped craft beers has also highlighted new hop production areas such as the United States, Australia and New Zealand.
We end with the meaning of the name of tonight's beer. “Hommel” simply means “Hops” in the local dialect of Poperinge and it is always brewed with 100% Belgian hops.