When you think of cider, you probably picture a chilled, crisp, refreshing drink perfect for sipping on a hot summer day. But did you know that some ciders have a secret ingredient that sets them apart from the rest?
That’s right, and it’s hop. In this post, you’ll look at what hops are, why they’re used in cider making, and what you can expect from a hopped cider.
So, let’s kick off!
What Are Hops and What Are They Used for?
Do you know what “hops” are, or is it a new word for you? Whatever the case, let’s first learn about it!
Hops are the flower cones of Humulus lupulus, also known as the hop plant. It’s a climbing perennial plant native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, including Europe, Asia, and North America.
The Hops have certain compounds called alpha acids and beta acids. They impart bitterness and aroma to your favorite beverage, the beer!!
Another role hops play is in preserving the beer. Its compounds prevent bacterial growth and act as a stability agent in beer.
In short, hops have a remarkable role in beer, but can they be used in cider? Is it a good or a bad choice to opt?
Buckle yourselves up to figure it out!
Does Cider Have Hops?
Well! Let’s first throw some light on what cider is. It’s a beverage made from fermented fruit juices, unlike beer made from fermented grains.
So, can it have cider, too? Well! It’s quite a common question, and the answer is yes. Hops are primarily used in beers, but now some “hopped ciders” are also available.
Cider is a good option to try something different than beer.
What Is the Difference Between Hoppy Cider and Traditional Cider?
If you haven’t tried hoppy cider or heard about it for the first time, you might wonder about the difference between it and the traditional one. Right? If so, here you go, then!
The major difference is that hoppy cider is either brewed with hops or contains its extracts. Moreover, it has notes of bitterness balanced by the sweetness of the cider.
Also, some hopped ciders are spicy and have a floral or herbal aroma. On the other hand, traditional cider doesn’t have hops and has a sweet, tart, and fruity flavor.
A crisp and refreshing apple flavor characterizes it. And have been used for ages. In contrast, hopped cider is a relatively new concept.
Does Hard Cider Contain Hops?
If you wonder what hard cider is, stop stressing your brain so much! Here’s the answer!
The main difference between a normal cider and a hard cider is alcohol. Yes! Hard cider contains alcohol usually 1-8% ABV whereas other ciders have no to a very low percentage of alcohol.
Now, let’s move toward the question, “Does hard cider contain hops?” Well! As mentioned earlier, hops are commonly used in beers. However, cider makers also experiment with cider, including the hard one.
So, the answer to the query is yes. Hard cider has hops in it. Some of its examples include:
- Seattle Cider Company Basil Mint Hopped Cider
- Virtue Cider Michigan Cherry-Hopped Cider
- Bold Rock Virginia Apple Hard Cider with Hops
- Blake’s Hard Cider Co. El Chavo Hopped Cider
- Woodchuck Hopped Hard Cider
- Angry Orchard Hop’n Mad Apple
- Strongbow Cherry Blossom Hard Cider with Hops
So, if you are a drinker, give hard cider a try. You won’t regret having it!
What Do Hops Taste Like in Cider?
People often ask this question, so here’s the answer. There’s no definite taste of hops.
It varies depending on the hops you are using and the brewing process. But generally give cider bitterness with floral, citrus, and herbal notes.
All these flavors give the drink a bright, refreshing, but complex flavor.
What Types of Hops Are Used in Cider Making?
As you know, different types of hops are used in cider making, and the flavor associated with each type also varies. So, here’s a list of some common hops that you can find in a cider:
1. Cascade Hop
The cascade hops are the most common ones in cider. The distinct floral and citrusy notes in your cider are because of it.
Besides, it also adds notes of grapefruit, lemon, and pine.
2. Centennial Hops
Centennial hops have a floral and citrus aroma like the cascade hops. But they also add a slightly spicy and herbal character to the cider.
3. Amarillo Hops
If you want a juicy and refreshing cider, go for Amarillo hops. It gives bright, fruity flavors to your cider.
4. Chinook Hops
If you are looking for a spicy cider, get some chinook hops. They add pronounced bitterness and spicy flavor to your beverages.
5. Fuggle Hops
Known for their herbal and spicy notes, Fuggle hops add subtle complexity and depth to cider’s flavor profile.
Well! These are just a few examples. The cider is available in far more flavors depending upon the maker’s preference.
What Other Beverages Contain Hops?
Though hops are primarily used in beers and ciders, it’s also used in several other drinks. Let’s explore them!
- Hard seltzer
- Energy drinks
- Sparkling water
Can You Make Cider with Hops?
Yes, you can make it with hops. Hops will take your drink to another level.
Is It Possible to Be Allergic to Hops in Cider?
Unfortunately, though rare, hops can cause allergic reactions. They contain compounds called alpha acids and beta acids that can act as potential triggers for an allergic response.
The symptoms include skin rash, nasal congestion, hives, itching, and even anaphylaxis in severe cases. So, if you are allergic to it, avoid drinking the hopped ciders.
The Bottom Line
Does cider have hops? Though they have been used for centuries in beer, even cider has hops.
They give the beverage a pleasant herbal, floral aroma with notes of bitterness and spices. But some compounds in hops can trigger allergic reactions. So, try a small amount first. If your body responds normally, only consume then.