When and why did you become a hophead?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by hotpauko, Jan 15, 2015.

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  1. darkandhoppy

    darkandhoppy Aspirant (203) Dec 26, 2008 Connecticut

    McNeill's circa 1993 or so. Ray took me and friends on a tour of his humble little basement brewery and in his cold room he literally had bale sized bags of whole hops, presumably cascade. No pellets. All flowers. The aroma alone was intoxicating. Ray's beers made me understand dry hopping for the first time. Been a hop head ever since.
    mdr4669 likes this.
  2. Hair

    Hair Initiate (0) Oct 30, 2006 California

    11 years ago; I was 21 and just realizing the amount of beer that existed beyond the macro lagers (which I never liked and never bothered with). The first two "craft" beers I tried were Oggi's Paradise Pale Ale (only slightly hoppy), and Stone IPA. I loved hops from the first sip. I tried Ruination soon after and loved it as well. Hops were not an acquired taste for me. If anything, I have had to acquire a taste for light lagers.
  3. gillagorilla

    gillagorilla Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2013 Maryland

    This except Ruination was pretty much the beginning for my hop/beer fascination. I need something hoppy right now. I might just have to open that Epitome or Jade IPA, but they're supposed to be for a bottleshare.
  4. mabermud

    mabermud Initiate (0) Dec 13, 2006 Washington

    I became a hop head in 1996-97 because it tastes real good.
  5. hophead_87

    hophead_87 Initiate (0) Apr 23, 2014 Virginia

    Per my username... 1987
    TheBrewo likes this.
  6. doppletheGOAT

    doppletheGOAT Initiate (0) Nov 27, 2012 Texas

    Not a hophead but I do enjoy IPAs but mainly the ones made with Mosaic hops. They seem to have that nice tropical taste of pineapple, mango and orange peel. I love that taste but I don't go for the big piney/grapefruit bombs that often. Sometimes I wonder if people really do like that taste or do they just want something that wrecks their palate?
  7. maz

    maz Aspirant (253) Apr 27, 2009 Illinois

    Couldn't agree more. IPA's by definition are not balanced! And I'm a "hophead"... just finished a Sculpin and a Global Warmer (both 70 IBU brews).
    fredmugs likes this.
  8. 2ellas

    2ellas Devotee (485) Feb 20, 2014 New Hampshire

    I THINK YOU'RE SILLY! sorry. I just get mad sometimes. But for realsies, I drink hop tea out of hop cones. Can't. Get. Enough. Brewing is definitely multidimensional but there aren't many dimensions of brewing that get me jazzzzzed up like hops.

    for me, it was maybe 2 years ago after my first heady topper. At that moment I couldn't understand why people would drive to Vermont to get it but the next day, I couldn't think about anything else.
  9. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Poo-Bah (2,425) Sep 15, 2014 Colorado

    I got into IPAs and hop bombs close to a year after getting into craft beer, and it was the glowing reviews of IPAs on this website that gave me the curiosity to try them. When I first started drinking beer, even Sam Adams Boston Lager was too hoppy for me. When it really clicked was I first drank a Sierra Nevada Pale. My reaction was "Oh my God! A beer that tastes like grapefruit!" Since then I started drinking more and more pale ales and IPAs, until it completely and totally broke me into hops, and I became a salivating lupulin fanatic.

    Don't be anal! Hop head just means a fan of hoppy beer. :astonished:

    ...People really do like that taste, trust me. :wink:
    doppletheGOAT likes this.
  10. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Poo-Bah (2,425) Sep 15, 2014 Colorado

    It's an acquired taste, like spicy food. Most people don't like it first, but once you learn to like it, then you crave it.
  11. doktorhops

    doktorhops Poo-Bah (2,014) Jan 12, 2011 Australia

    You think that's bad - you should see the hats for the "cat piss" heads... yeah, they were... a bad idea.
  12. UrbanCaveman

    UrbanCaveman Meyvn (1,109) Sep 30, 2014 Ohio
    Society Trader

    No offense, but I don't even want to envision those. The "yeasty banana" motif was borderline for me.
    gopens44 and doktorhops like this.
  13. BostonHops

    BostonHops Initiate (0) Sep 21, 2011 Massachusetts

    Seeing as most people don't necessarily appreciate an onslaught of banana esters or cat piss in their beer, I would guess not too many. A lot of people do like a strong, over the top hop presence, however, so I'm not sure that's a fair comparison.
    AugustusRex likes this.
  14. AugustusRex

    AugustusRex Initiate (0) Apr 12, 2013 Canada (ON)


    I love hops, but to me they are only one component to a good beer, even an IPA or Pilsner. I was mostly refering to the new citrA hop craze with the cat piss reference, I like citra too. Also, with the popularity of Weihenstepaner Hefe and La Fin du Monde etc, people are monkeys for banana.

    My point is that it's not "cool" to be a banana head. The hop head is so macho.
    #54 AugustusRex, Jan 17, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2015
  15. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,488) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Growing up in a P. Ballantine & Sons brewed Ballantine XXX Ale "Brewer's Gold" house did it for me.

    Once they start to form on the bines that grow along my garden entrance, I grab a cone and chew or just sort of"logenze" it while working in the garden. If I happen to be drinking a beer at the time (yes, it has been known to happen :wink:), so much the better.

    I eat the shoots, too, when I'm thinning them when they first pop out of the ground in early spring. Raw, right in the garden. But they don't have much "hop" flavor, just mild asparagus-y.
    #55 jesskidden, Jan 17, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2015
  16. TCJ0100

    TCJ0100 Initiate (0) Oct 9, 2014 California

    It was exactly the same for me. I was always jealous of people that got pitchers of milder beers while I struggled through my two-hearted that my friends had gotten. The next big step came with my first 4-pack of Stone Ruination.
  17. SierraJosh

    SierraJosh Initiate (0) Aug 13, 2013 California

    If Citra is used correctly, PseudoSue, the last thing it will remind you of is feline urine.
    Irishace9 likes this.
  18. nuggetlover

    nuggetlover Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2012 Pennsylvania

    DFH 60 minute was my "gateway" beer
    TheBrewo likes this.
  19. AugustusRex

    AugustusRex Initiate (0) Apr 12, 2013 Canada (ON)

    I've never touched fresh hops before, only pellets. I heard hops can mildly irritate your skin if you handle them too much. I don't see why it would be any different drinking hoppy beer but do you get irritation from handling them fresh?
  20. John_Beeryman

    John_Beeryman Initiate (0) Jul 19, 2014 Virginia

    In the last six months, because one's tastes naturally change.
  21. Roguer

    Roguer Poo-Bah (7,094) Mar 25, 2013 Connecticut
    Moderator Society Trader

    I became a hop-head when I had my first IPA: Stone's Enjoy By. That was it; instant obsession.

    As others have noted, I have a relationship where, if I want a beer, then I typically want an IPA. It's an easy answer (though far from the only). Non-craft-beer-snobs automatically reach for a lager, and occasionally try a wheat beer or a stout; they associate the taste of a light lager with the taste of a "regular" beer. I now typically associate the taste of an IPA with the taste of a "regular" beer.
    HorseheadsHophead likes this.
  22. JuicesFlowing

    JuicesFlowing Initiate (0) Jul 5, 2009 Kansas

    I'm not a hophead by definition -- I still prefer stouts, ambers, browns, and dopplebocks over any IPA or DIPA if given the choice. However, over the years, I have become truly appreciative of hoppy beers, and in fact sometimes I do crave a good IPA. This weekend, for example.
  23. IowaBiertrinker

    IowaBiertrinker Initiate (0) Sep 20, 2010 Iowa

    A few years ago when I tried a fresh Pliny the Elder. Then again this past year when I first tried beers with the Nelson Sauvin Hop. Always up for trying a new hopped up brew, though Stouts are still my first love when it comes to beer.
  24. gonzo000

    gonzo000 Initiate (0) Feb 9, 2014 Massachusetts

    I think I was against IPA's because Harpoon IPA was the beer that introduced me to the style. I was all stouts and porters and ales for my first few years enjoying craft beers. Something happened at the Beer Festival in Boston last year, when I tried some IPA's from Treehouse and Stone and other quality breweries. Click - now I love them. Should not have waited so long to try them - in the end it was Harpoon IPA that sucked - not IPA as a Style.

    VDODSON Initiate (0) Feb 5, 2013 North Dakota

    I tasted them, and I liked them...

    IDABEERGUY Initiate (0) Jun 18, 2013 Idaho

    When a friend of mine actually was able to tell me this is a hoppy beer several years ago. I had always drank whatever until I realized what hops actually tastes like. I am a hop head through. And through. Never had a beer too bitter or too hoppy...........
  27. RBassSFHOPit2ME

    RBassSFHOPit2ME Initiate (0) Mar 1, 2009 California

    When I realized I was drinking liquid citrusy dank weed.
  28. bigdaddyjerry

    bigdaddyjerry Initiate (0) May 6, 2013 Maryland

    never!!!!! i hate hops.....still young but bitter is not better in my opinion. im on the maltier side of life :stuck_out_tongue:
  29. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,989) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    I will give a different answer, although it's the God's honest truth: my first German Pilsner. The serious bitterness, as well as that grassy/spicy aroma- it just turned a switch. My friends and I didn't know it was the hops at the time, but we did know what beers had the good stuff and which ones didn't.

    Pilsner=hoppy, btw. That seems to be forgotten these days :slight_smile:.
  30. jdw275

    jdw275 Initiate (0) Feb 18, 2011 Colorado

    When I first started trying out craft beers in college, I absolutely hated hoppy beers and couldn't understand why anyone would ever drink an IPA. At beer festivals, I'd try some hoppier beers, but for the most part stuck to lagers and wheat beers and sometimes stouts.

    The first IPA I ever remembered liking was Ithaca Flower Power, at the old Ithaca tasting room. This was maybe 3-4 years after I started drinking craft beer, and I guess my palate gained a level or two over that time. For whatever reason, it just clicked that day and I've enjoyed hoppy beers ever since. Lately, I've been getting interested in trying more single-hop beers so I can better differentiate between the hop types.
    HorseheadsHophead likes this.
  31. DrStiffington

    DrStiffington Poo-Bah (1,805) Oct 27, 2010 New Jersey

    Eight years ago. Bought Harpoon IPA for the first time on a whim going to a party's. I was already into craft by then but not IPAs. It hooked me for good. Funny, my palate was wrecked by it at the time, yet now a Harpoon IPA would barely register.
    Phigg1102 likes this.
  32. Thepleasantimbiber

    Thepleasantimbiber Initiate (194) Oct 30, 2013 California

    Through college I drank PBR and Highlife, Newcastle and Guinness were the height of my beer drinking sophistication. Then after graduation I moved to the North Park neighborhood of San Diego. Boom. Hophead/beergeek by osmosis.
  33. Tripel_Threat

    Tripel_Threat Poo-Bah (3,072) Jun 29, 2014 Michigan
    Society Trader

    I slowly learned to tolerate hops and then liking them and sometimes now I even look forward to a nice DIPA. It started a couple years ago when I decided I was going to try as many Short's brews as I could (since they brew a ridiculous number of beers). Well, the folks at Short's like hops, so I every other week I'd have some variety of pale ale. It's an acquired taste for sure, my wife still can't stand anything bitter. I still find myself reflexively saying, "I'm not a big fan of IPAs but..." Now, some of my favorites are Pan Galactic, Sucks, Two Hearted...
    HorseheadsHophead likes this.
  34. Shroud0fdoom

    Shroud0fdoom Initiate (0) Oct 31, 2013 Maryland

    I'm an herbal kind of guy, so it's only fitting Hops would become an influence in what I enjoy in my beer. The beer that pushed the Envelope was Stone: Ruination. 22 ounces of liquid Hop Glory. Since then, I've been hooked!
    Spiral517 likes this.
  35. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,488) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    The bines and leaves are slightly "prickly" (or whatever the horticultural term is) and can irritate the skin - I'm always amazed when I see photos of modern day "volunteer" hop pickers in shorts and short-sleeves shirts :grimacing: "Uh-oh, are they gonna be sorry the next day." - not the hop cones themselves.
    AugustusRex likes this.
  36. chunkieylover53

    chunkieylover53 Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2010 Michigan

    Started with a fairly dramatic drain pour of Hop Devil, but after a summer of Dale's Pale Ale, Two Hearted, and some baseball, I sort of forced myself to love the style.
  37. raeman70

    raeman70 Initiate (0) Oct 15, 2014 Ohio

    Fathead's Hop JuJu did it for me........
  38. briandaube

    briandaube Initiate (0) Jun 1, 2012 Delaware

    I don't know if I consider myself a hophead although I'm sure most of my consumption leans towards the hoppier side of things. I don't know if this is from preference or the fact that most offerings these days tend to be hop forward. I'm actually trying to explore other styles more but there is probably at least something hoppy in the fridge.
    * What I really came to post was for those hop/coffee heads is that a roaster in Salisbury MD has made a hop infused coffee blend. I haven't tried it yet but I will probably try to grab some next time I'm down that way.
  39. TheBrewo

    TheBrewo Initiate (0) Nov 11, 2010 New York

    You don't choose the hophead life, the hophead life chooses you.
    HorseheadsHophead likes this.
  40. Anhyzer

    Anhyzer Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2007 Oregon

    I'm a total "Cat Piss" Head, yeah I said it.
    HorseheadsHophead likes this.
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