Beer Without Hops?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by mlauzon, Sep 27, 2014.

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  1. BallantineBurton

    BallantineBurton Initiate (97) Jan 22, 2012 Massachusetts

    Where do I start? First, simplify the legalese, a lot of which I personally assisted in writing. Beer is a taxable product under the Internal Revenue Code. As a general rule, "beer" is produced with a fermented barley base or substitute for barley (molasses, and so forth). This is an Internal Revenue Code tax requirement to differentiate beer from wine (fermented from fruit, generally) or distilled spirits (distilled in some fashion). Gluten free beers contain no barley malt and may/may not contain hops; they are taxable "beer" but not "malt beverages"). "Malt beverages" contain both hops and barley malt. The key point is that malt beverages receive label approval from US Treasury (the previously mentioned Tax and Trade Bureau) which makes it easier for them to be sold in any state. Malt beverages are also regulated under the Federal Alcohol Administration Act which imposes labeling and advertising standards, and requires permits for importing or wholesaling.
    Back to the question, no hops beer can be made. However, most large brewers filter or treat a base malt beverage to remove hop character. They then add flavors and other materials to produce a flavored product which has little or no hop character (Four Loco, Moose Juice, and so forth). However, the product remains a malt beverage which provides many marketing advantages, particularly a certificate of label approval from TTB.
    Most mainstream lagers have limited hop character and light beers even less with IBUs (measurement of hop character) usually under 10. Compare that to the IPA I am currently drinking which advertises 70 IBU's as a measure of hop character.
    So if you do not like hops, stick to light American Light lagers or the flavored products large brewers produce. But remember, the craft beer revolution is a direct response to the lack of hop character, or any character, in mainstream American light lagers.
    surfcaster likes this.
  2. BriantheBeerGeek

    BriantheBeerGeek Initiate (107) May 26, 2013 Pennsylvania

    Four Loko is absolute rotgut garbage.
  3. Hrodebert

    Hrodebert Aspirant (273) Sep 2, 2013 Michigan

    First off, ignore the snobs.
    There are hundreds, if not thousands of beers that are made with hops, that are not just bitter, or taste like pine sap.
    In time, you will find many great breweries that do not jump on the hop it up bandwagon on every beer they brew.
    Most brewery websites give a pretty good indication on the hoppiness of the beer they brew, and eventually you will find many beers you can enjoy that do not have the hop characteristics that you do not like.
    Most of all, don't give up on beer because you don't like hoppy. Not everyone does.
  4. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Poo-Bah (2,498) Sep 15, 2014 Colorado

    Perhaps my palate has been numbed by too many IPAs, but I swear I can't taste any hops in Yuengling. It tastes like pure liquid barley malt to me. Yuengling is a decent, sweet, introductory beer.
    mr_monch likes this.
  5. Smileitsfreetobehappy

    Smileitsfreetobehappy Initiate (0) Jul 14, 2014 Alaska

    Alright if you don't like hops my friend then take a look around your local market for the following styles to name a few that would have LOW to MODERATE hop flavor. It should be tolerable and hopefully open your palate up to higher IBU brews over time.

    Lite American Lager/Adjunct Lager, Helles Lagers, Pilsners, Oktoberfest/Marzen, Dunkel, Schwarzbier, Bock,Doppelbock,Eisbock,Cream Ales,Blonde ales,kolsch, Altbier,California Common Beers, Dusseldorf Altbiers, Scottishlight/medium/or heavy ales, Irish Reds, American Amber/brown ales, English Brown Ales, Any style of Porters, Any Stouts, Weizen/Weissbier,Dunkelweizen,Weizenbock,Roggenbier (German Rye Beer),Witbier,Saison Biere de garde, Berliner weisse, flander red, flanders brown/oud bruin, gueuze,fruit lambics/unblended lambics, Belgian Blonde,Dubbel,Tripel,Golden Strong Ale,Dark Strong Ales, Quads , Old Ales,Gruits, Smoked beer like Rauchbier, And ofcourse pale ales are usually a good way to slowly incline your palate towards hops. And Failing that try drinking mead my friend best of luck :grinning:!!!
  6. jstmcook

    jstmcook Initiate (0) Oct 28, 2013 Georgia

    i know you asked for a beer, but you should try mead. I know of a few little companies that make it or if you'd like to try, i know there are several people in my county (including myself) that make it and love to had it out for others to try.
  7. marquis

    marquis Champion (825) Nov 20, 2005 England

    For brews originating in these islands it's quite clear , if it doesn't have hops then it isn't beer. True, we talk about ginger beer etc but that's just loose usage.We had two entirely separate brewing industries, ale and beer , the difference being that beer had hops and ale did not.This slowly changed , ales became hopped but less than beers and later on ales were distinguished by being pale (that's why we have IPA and not IPB) and beers basically reverted to stouts and porters.So beer from the word go was always a hopped beverage.And those old guys liked hops. They would hop like crazy, double it and then add some more.
    If you just don't like obtrusive hops there are lots of beers to choose from. A decent mild for example.
  8. TonyLema1

    TonyLema1 Poo-Bah (1,932) Nov 19, 2008 South Carolina

    International Arms Race - Flying Dog Brewery...0 IBUs
  9. surfcaster

    surfcaster Zealot (526) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina

    Green Man IPA is just a phenomenal American take on the English IPA. A little too American for some but much more subtle than the traditional American IPA. Lucky to be so close to them.
    NCMonte likes this.
  10. charlzm

    charlzm Poo-Bah (2,464) Sep 3, 2007 California

    Try sours.
  11. Das_Reh

    Das_Reh Disciple (332) Mar 25, 2013 Florida

    Sahti and Gruit are two styles that don't use hops. Usually, spruce, juniper, or heather are used as bittering agents. Alba Scots Pine Ale and Fraoich are two such examples.
  12. mohawk5

    mohawk5 Initiate (0) Jul 24, 2014 New Jersey

    Find some Yards beers. Brawler is one that might be good for you to start with. Most of their beers have very minimal hop flavors. More of a malty english style flavor.
    beerded_drunk and mr_monch like this.
  13. malvrich

    malvrich Initiate (0) Feb 17, 2014 North Carolina

    I got one!
    What do you guys think of a Kolsch like Mother Earth Endless River.
    Tastes fruity enough to maybe remind our friend of the malt beverages he currently enjoys.
    Kinda funky in the nose tho! :slight_smile:
  14. OneDropSoup

    OneDropSoup Meyvn (1,086) Dec 9, 2008 Pennsylvania

    How about you, OP? Sounds like a good reason to start homebrewing.
  15. malvrich

    malvrich Initiate (0) Feb 17, 2014 North Carolina

    Find some hops in a Newcastle, I dare you. (hell I can't anyway)
    Besides, it's affordable and available everywhere!
    kwakwhore likes this.
  16. imamutant

    imamutant Initiate (0) Apr 6, 2014 Texas

    I've read wits were originally brewed with coriander and orange peel because hops were out of season and I've always wondered if that meant they don't traditionally use hops at all in them or what.
  17. nicholasofcusa

    nicholasofcusa Initiate (198) Jan 14, 2006 Florida

    Unibroue Trois Pistoles. In Canada it's comparable in price to the fizzy pale lagers and light years away in terms of flavor and quality. Very little (almost zero) hop presence. Much stronger too.
  18. gcamparone

    gcamparone Poo-Bah (2,017) Dec 6, 2011 Rhode Island
    Society Trader

    There becomes a point where the amount of hops in a beer becomes miniscule and hop taste really doesn't matter. If you're looking for a hopless beer due to taste, there are countless beers that hops don't play any role in so the posts on this board are irrelevant and don't reflect the correct answer to your question. If it has to do with a hop allergy, take suggestions on this board.
  19. misternebbie

    misternebbie Initiate (0) Aug 24, 2014 Pennsylvania

    A beer without hops is like a day without sunshine
  20. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (275) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico

    Almost anything not named IPA or DIPA has a lesser than the norm hop profile, on average.. You may be talking with the wrong people asking for advice initially.

    Scotch Ales.. Cream Ales.. Brown Ales.. Your fat tires or boston lagers.. Shiner bocks.. Octoberfests are in season now.. Fruit beers.. hefeweizens.. Beligian quads, tripels, standard belgium ales... THere are probably more hopless tasting beers out there than the hop bombs. This website as well as the general craft beer media may have you believing the hop craze is EVERYWHERE. It's definitely growing but you can still find a quality product without that floral or piney hop presence.
  21. reefer_bob

    reefer_bob Disciple (302) May 13, 2014 California

  22. trentbrown89

    trentbrown89 Initiate (0) Feb 13, 2013 California

    Obvious troll thread...
  23. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado

    Quite surprised that no one suggested a hop filter.
  24. Walkerjgt

    Walkerjgt Initiate (0) Aug 13, 2013 Ohio

    I think you all got trolled.
  25. ricardo58

    ricardo58 Initiate (0) Jan 2, 2015

    OK I'm going to kick in on this. Here's a little known fact that needs more exposure. A day without hops is like a day without female estrogen, and that's a good thing! I was drinking an IPA a day on average, sometimes more. I was in a bar ordering one and some guy who is a naturopath told me I was ingesting estrogen. I thought bull. So I went home and started researching it and sure enough it's true. I know they'll be those who say, oh you'd have to drink a ton of it for it to be of harm, well consider this, we are getting way more estrogens in our modern society, so you never know if drinking a bunch of IPA's will put you over. I know a guy who got gynecosmastia, it's nothing to laugh about. So, bottom line, if you like to drink beer, which most of us do, my high recommendation is to stay away from IPA's or anything high in hops. And therefore I can't blame folks for wanting a hop free beer for other reasons besides taste. And it irks me that the Federal Government dictates that it contain hops. Hey Federal Government, how about passing some laws requiring brewers to show their ingredients on beer labeling. Many use anti-foaming agents and other chemicals and we don't even know it.
    Shroud0fdoom likes this.
  26. devildogbrewing

    devildogbrewing Initiate (0) Dec 31, 2014 Michigan

    I guess busch lite?
    I am not a hop head or anything, but a 4 loco would be more of a sugared up drink (pretty sure they have hops too)
  27. bleakies

    bleakies Disciple (384) Apr 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    There seem to be a number of blogs suggesting that hops in beer will affect men negatively through its phytoestrogenic properties, but what little medical research I've seen on the matter suggests that at beer-level concentrations, hops pose no particular threat.
    MNAle and Dil_thebeerdrinking_do like this.
  28. Relik

    Relik Initiate (108) Apr 20, 2011 Canada (NS)

    Sadly Beer is still defined here in Canada the same way (the definition may change soon or one could hope). Gruit style beers would be your best bet although you would never find a purest Gruit . If its made in a brewery/brew pub it must be made with Hops to some level.
    I say you have 2 options A) Embrace the hops look for lower IBU options Kolsch, pils, Hefes, Stouts, Browns...blah blah blah B) Head down the whisk(e)y/ Bourbon road its basically Beer with no hops but then distilled.
  29. Absolut

    Absolut Zealot (556) Sep 19, 2011 California

    send me your hoppy fresh beer, i will dispose of it properly.
    pat61, Buzz3d and devildogbrewing like this.
  30. wehaveamap

    wehaveamap Aspirant (210) Jan 16, 2010 Massachusetts

    Two years ago I was in San Francisco at a cool hybrid bottle shop/bar. They had on tap a beer from a small brewery north of the city whose "thing" was not using hops. I had one that I believe I was told used cedar in place of hops. Wish I could remember the name, it was extremely interesting. Anyone have any idea of the brewer I'm talking about?
  31. GabberGod

    GabberGod Initiate (0) Jul 25, 2014 California

    1. I don't care for hoppy beers personally. Took me a long time to get into craft beer as most of my friends drank ipa's (primarily stone ipa's) and I hated them....still don't care for 95% of hoppy beers, people would direct me towards blondes and lagers which tasted like piss water. I cound drink ciders as there was a sweetness to them but ultimately what really got me into craft beer were barrel aged stouts. Brewdog - Paradox Jura being my first.... It had huge flavor, a creaminess, some smokiness, and no hop flavor whatsoever. After that I was hooked. ....point being, I don't see why people always try and direct people who don't like hops to super light flavorless beer....just because someone doesn't like hops does not mean they don't want some kind of flavor. Try parabola, or uncle Jacobs, or bourbon county .....those all have huge flavor with no hop taste....too heavy? try Midas touch, or mercury, or pumpking...he'll, try a rauchbeer, maybe that is more your style . Try some bruery beers if they are available to you. Just stay away from ipa's, barley wines, and lagers. Also, try higher abv beers as they will be maltier than a lighter beer.
    #71 GabberGod, Jan 3, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2015
  32. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (2,412) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    So, you joined to post this mix of pseudo-science and fear-mongering, with just enough truth to make it sound credible?
  33. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (2,412) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    Most English ales: milds, bitters, ESBs, porters and stouts are not too hoppy and have lots of flavor.
    Shroud0fdoom likes this.
  34. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Devotee (474) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts

    What is OP doing on BA let alone posting a thread if he/she doesn't like hops in beer? This is the most outrageous troll thread since the beer flop house thread.
  35. luwak

    luwak Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2010 Arizona


    There should be more of them
    Janeinma likes this.
  36. Harlan_Pepper

    Harlan_Pepper Initiate (0) Dec 29, 2014 Indiana

    While technically not a beer, I sure couldn't taste even the slightest bit of hops in Colt 45.
  37. rronin

    rronin Initiate (0) Jul 4, 2005 Washington

    Since beer was first brewed in the Fertile Crescent over 5,000 years ago it probably was brewed without hops.
  38. Valleyview06

    Valleyview06 Aspirant (206) Oct 13, 2012 Pennsylvania

    both a gusher and a malt bomb. last time I had this beer I tried to break dance, which was not a good move.

    Shroud0fdoom likes this.
  39. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,907) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    I have had one from Moonlight Brewing that used redwood.
  40. Benjo87

    Benjo87 Initiate (0) Dec 27, 2014 Australia

    Try Centennial IPA, I'm not a big IPA guy, but that beer is delicious.
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