I have a cold. It’s clouding my judgement and making it difficult to put words into a meaningful order. I’m terrible when I’m sick. Really, really terrible. Someone, please make me some soup.
So, I put it out to the world of Facebook to offer suggestions as to what I might write about for today. Lots of great answers. I’m sure I’ll get to all of them by the end of the month, but we’ll take Wayne’s suggestion first.
Beer. Wayne says I should write about beer.
And he’s absolutely right.
While I’ve missed every single Oktoberfest in the Portland metro area this year, I did manage to rally enough to make it to the Jubelale release at Deschutes on Tuesday. Winter is coming and with it come the dark, spicy, malty beers of the cold season. Pyramid’s SnowCap and Humbug’r, McMenamins’ Kris Kringle, Ninkasi’s Sleigh’r, Alameda’s Papa Noel. The list is, thankfully, endless.
But, while we wait for more and more of our favorite winter beers to appear at taps everywhere, we’re flush with fresh hops and the lovely things our brewers are doing with them. Fresh hops? you say. Yes. Fresh hops.
We even have a fest for it. Of course we do.
Oregon hops account for just under 20% of the hops production in the United States, roughly 5% of the world’s production. If USAHops.org is to be believed, another 75% of US hops come from Washington. Is it any wonder we love our beer here?
The first known instance of hops cultivation dates to the mid-700s in Germany. Leave it to the Germans. Hops have long been considered medicinal and the scent is said to have a calming effect. Have a touch of insomnia? Slip some hops cones into your pillowcase and sleep like a baby.
More medicinal uses for hops? Click here.
So, there you go, Wayne. A few words about beer, hops and insomnia.