got hops.

This is a hops vine.

You know, I've always liked the phrase "got hops" to indicate that someone could jump really high. It's like saying someone's got chops, but for basketball players instead of musicians. That doesn't have anything to do with anything, I was just thinking about it.

This vine is growing on a piece of twine that goes from the ground to the roof of the Terrapin Brewery in Atlanta, Georgia. I'm not sure if they use their own hops. For one thing, they probably do not grow as much as they need. For another thing, maybe the quality is inconsistent or at least not as good as hops that you buy from the beer-making supply store. Still, it's a nice gesture. It shows that the people who make the beer know where beer comes from. It doesn't just appear, cold and delicious, in front of them. It comes from plants (and water and yeast).

A coworker of mine makes his own beer in a giant stock pot in his kitchen. He invited us all over to brew up a batch once. I confess that I was a little disappointed in the process. He was just following a recipe. Boil some water, put some stuff in it. Then boil it some more, add more stuff. The stuff he added had been bought in pre-measured quantities, which somehow took a lot of the magic out of it for me. I mean, I know that I follow recipes when I cook, but at least I have to do my own measuring and chopping. It was like watching a TV chef who had everything all set out in little matching bowls by an invisible assistant. He wasn't really doing anything.

So in the real world, that is where a beer's ingredients come from. They come prepackaged in bags that you can just dump right in. And I bet that Terrapin makes beer that way, too, but with much bigger bags. So it's nice to see that even if it doesn't make business sense to grow your own hops, it makes a kind of poetic sense, and that's enough for them.

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