Do the types of hops really matter?

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Yes! Hops play a vital part in brewing and achieving the desired finished product. Specific hops grow in different parts of the world, with each showcasing a different set of characteristics. For instance, if you smell a hoppy American IPA you’ll probably smell pine needles and grapefruit zest, whereas a handful of English hops will smell earthy and floral, and hops from Australia or New Zealand will smell like passionfruit and citrus. Brewers know which strain of hops will work best with the style they’re trying to achieve and sometimes blend a few different strains to get the desired end result.

Why is some beer warm and some cold?
The colder a beer is served, the less its flavors and aromas are going to come out - that is why most macro-lagers are served super cold. On the other hand, English cask ales or Belgian dubbels are served much warmer so that you can taste every little flavor and smell every bit of aroma. There are entire charts devoted to perfect drinking temperatures for each style, but it all comes down to personal preference. Each beer will be different, but you can test it out by taking bottles out of the fridge and letting them stand at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before drinking.

Originally published in our Craft Beer Club's Micro Brew News, O'Fallon Brewery edition.