High rise hops: How vertical farming elevates beer flavor

AI-backed vertical farming specialist Ekonoke is growing hydroponic hops to mitigate climate risks often associated with this key ingredient for the premium beer industry. Growing hops in a completely controlled environment could be the answer to maintaining consistently high levels of special compounds that contribute to a more desirable flavor and aroma profile.

“Considering how vital hops are for each beer’s precise flavor and bitterness profile, breweries are very concerned about the instability of supply of their preferred varieties. They are very interested in guaranteeing a constant supply of certain varieties with a predictable quality,” Inés Sagrario, CEO and co-founder of Ekonoke, tells.

She underscores that pesticides are not necessary in Ekonoke’s strictly controlled growing conditions. “Our methods allow us to obtain higher alpha-acid contents (one of the main quality indicators in bitter hops) than the same varieties grown outdoors.”

“Through epigenetics we should be able to further impact essential oils that are particularly relevant for aroma hops. We are also starting our own breeding program through which we expect to obtain new varieties producing the same quantity and quality, with lower energy, water and nutrient use.”

Read the complete article at www.foodingredientsfirst.com.

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