Hops are a key element of beer. First and most obviously, hops offer a growing catalog of many wonderfully unique flavors, providing brewers with a wide palette of different options to build creative recipes. And because hops are bacteriostatic and actively inhibit the growth of Gram-positive organisms, they help to keep some bacteria and other unwanted agents at bay during fermentation as well as storage. Hops also lend a helping hand to stabilizing beer foam and of course blend a bitter balance into the sweetness of an otherwise quite grainy and malty beverage. Finally, hops may even provide some mental health benefits as well. A 2017 studyat the School of Health Science and Education at Harokopio University in Athens measured the self-reported stress, anxiety and depression levels of 36 participants and concluded that the application of dry hop extract over a four-week period provided significant meaningful improvements in perceived outlook and experience. In other words, hops can help!