Hops are the flowers (also called seed cones or strobiles) of the hop plant Humulus Iupulus and looks strikingly similar to cannabis. They are in fact cousins, but rest assured, there is no THC in this one!
The parts you need for brewing are the female hop flowers - pale green cones packed full of oils and resins.
They are used primarily as an antibacterial agent in beer. However, hops contain over 200 essential oils which can impart a range of flavours and aromas to the beer.
Hops are responsible for the bitter notes that balance the sweetness from your malt; as well as defining the flavour and aroma that has you coming back for more. They’re quite the contributor!
Hops are arguably the single most important ingredient in beer - in fact, a brew must contain hops in order to be classified as a beer.
Check out this blog here to read all about hops, origins, using them in beer and regional varieties.
Read about Types of Hops - Fresh Hops, Cones, Pellets.
Read about How to Choose Hops.
Read about When to Add Hops.