Today we’re going to talk about triple hopped beers, a term you hear bandied about from time to time. But what does it mean when breweries brag about “triple hopping” their beer? Absolutely nothing special, because every single beer on the shelf is at least “double hopped” and a good deal of them are “triple hopped.” If you’re a fan of Mad Men, it’s no different than when tobacco companies would brag that their tobacco was toasted, when everybody was doing the same thing. For beer, because the triple in triple hopped only means that there are three stages of hops during the brewing process.
Hops provide three things for beer: bitterness, flavor and aroma, and they’re added at different points in the brewing process. Hops for bitterness are added first, then flavor hops and then, at the very end you add the aroma hops. The mix of hops you add will lend a distinct personality personality to your beer, or in the case of those who brag of being triple hopped, the most bland personality of all.
If you really want to make note of hops, pay attention to IBU, which stands for International Bittering Unit, or EBU, the European Bitterness Unit, the standards by which the bitterness of beer is measured. The higher the IBU or EBU, the more bitterness there’s supposed to be., though that number will only mean so much to your tongue depending on the type of of beer you’re drinking.