Random Hop Facts

I love hops. They are an acquired taste but once you acquire it, you want more. More and more. Let’s cover some random facts about hops today.

Hops keep chickens healthy
Chicken guys were a primary source for meat contamination until scientists discovered that adding hops to a coop’s diet will prevent pathogenic bacteria from infecting the chickens’ stomachs and intestinal tracts just as effectively as lo-level antibiotic treatments.

They are your homebrew’s best friend.

Hops can be toxic to dogs.
Keep your hops away from your dogs. When a canine consumes hops it causes malignant hyperthermia, which may lead to dangerously high temperatures or even death.

Farmers in the Appalachian region use hops as a sleep aid.
When insomnia strikes, they fill their pillows with hops to help them snooze. Other known medicinal properties include healing flesh wounds, curing syphilis and when smoked, improving symptoms of glaucoma.

I’m not sure about smoking them and not every likes the aroma of hops but if you do, I can see how it soothing.

When hops are fresh off the vine, they have 70% moisture and can mold within three days.
I like to keep my fresh hops in the freezer in air tight bags.

The hop bine is a perennial flowering plant that can take up to three years to mature.

Hops were first added to beer to keep it from spoiling, not for flavour
when brewers realized hops had antiseptic powers they were able to lower alcohol content in their beers, which meant they didn’t have to use as much grain – so production costs were lower, and profits were higher.

The first documented hop yard dates back to the year 736, and was found on a monastery in Bavaria.

There are two main hop types – bittering and aroma.
Bittering hops have a higher concentration of alpha acids and are mostly responsible for the bitter flavor in beer. Aroma hops have a lower concentration of alpha acids and contribute to aroma and non-bitter flavours.

Germany is the only country in the world producing more hops than the U.S. with 43,818 acres dedicated to the crop. (The U.S. has 30,016 acres)

The majority of the world’s commercial hop production occurs between latitudes 35 and 55 degrees, either north or south of the equator because day length during the growing season has a major effect on yield.

Hop vines can grow up to one foot a day.


IKEA Brews Beer, No Assembly Required to Drink.


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Turns out IKEA is brewing its own beer to be sold in all countries at their store. Two types are available, a light (ljus) and a dark (mörk) beer will be offered in 330ml bottles and weight in at 4.75% ABV. I have no idea if the beer is akin to their furniture (as in cheap and not very well crafted), but the reviews don’t look great online. Drinkable, a bit sugary and one reviewer said it tasted like cardboard. Perhaps they barrel age the beer in unused pressboard from their side tables.

All jokes aside I’m a bit curious to try it with some Swedish meatballs.


How-to: Open a Beer Bottle with a Newspaper


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How many times have you been somewhere and haven’t had a bottle opener to get into that sweet, sweet beer? There is a instructables how-to for opening a bottle with a newspaper, but all you basically need to do is create a lever with your hand and a sturdy object. You can definitely get some ideas from an early post. Or, I suppose, you can always use a chainsaw, but I don’t recommend it. See below.


Missing Your Bottle Opener?


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We’ve all had those moments when you’re at the beach, around a campfire or in the hockey locker room and you realize you don’t have a twist cap, and you don’t have a bottle opener. Bottle Cap Blues, a video by Chris Sumers, which is basically a 50 way to open a beer bottle instructional video. Pay attention! You never know when you may need to leverage something to get that drink into your belly.

This is a short film that I was a part of for Adam Young’s solo Art Show at Common House Gallery entitled: Songs of the Early Riser. Adam had a concept for a video installation. I took his concept and put it into a video. We originally had 4 different edits looping at the show in his installation, but this edit is a compilation of my favorite clips from the three day shoot. This has been the most fun project I have been a part of to date. Sitting around with your friends killing a couple of six packs of beer trying to think of different means to open your next drink is pretty fun. I encourage you to try it.


Beer Vending Machine Requires Body Check

While the idea of this Salta brand beer vending machine was for Argentina Rugby players to tackle it, it looks more like a body check for us Canadians. I really like the concept. I think I just like the concept of a beer vending machine. The “pussy” meter is honestly a nice touch.

The machine was created by the Ogilvy agency for Cerveza Salta in Argentina. The machine is padded on both sides and the only way to get a beer is for a hard tackle or body check. I wonder how sturdy it is and how easy it is to tip over. I also feel sorry for the beer getting shaken around in there.