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  Reducing yob behaviour with humulus lupus 

Last Updated : 15/06/09


Reducing yob behaviour with humulus lupus. 

(Note: this article is written tongue-in-cheek.  I’m not really advocating we make everyone drink IPA or for us to invade California; it’s all just a joke, OK?)

et’s be grown up about this, shall we?  Hops are, as I’m sure you all know, a member of the Cannabinaceae1 family of plants which numbers some 170 species including hemp and hops together with something called a hackberry, so if anyone wants to crack a gag about “smoking hops” or suchlike then get it out of your system now… and, if you were tempted to try this, then I’ll save your time as Cannabis replacement by hops, in tea and by smoking, has already been tested2 with results of “none”, so don’t bother; and, anyway, I think that mankind has already discovered the hop’s ultimate use as flavouring in beer!  If you need further dissuasion, hops contain no THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol3, the active ingredient in Cannabis) and, furthermore, THC isn’t soluble in water – only alcohol – so the only way to extract the THC from Cannabis into beer is to “dry-cannabis” the beer after fermentation is complete: don’t try this at home!

Okay, that’s the drug references out of the way, so now let’s concentrate on the matter in hand: the small issue of why I want to make the entire population drink as much hoppy beer as possible!  Hops have been used as sleep-inducers for hundreds of years (much the same effect as THC has on me, to be honest) mainly in the guise of “hop pillows” although this was thought to be mere superstition until research discovered that hops, especially after drying, contain a dose of the sedative volatile alcohol4 dimethylvinyl carbinol5 which accounts for the old wives’ tale that they cause drowsiness and give a medical reason to be as close to the fragrant bracts as possible, although I must admit I prefer mine boiled in wort first!  This soporific effect of hops was apparently well-known to hop pickers during the last century as many were known to nod off on the job, probably from ingesting the sticky resin which would have adhered to their hands during the picking process and, even more so, when handling the drying hops in the kilns.  Furthermore, how many times have you tried to engage in a large beer sampling session only to feel tired well before it’s over?  This may just be the hops working… or it may be that you were pissed, or just tired…

So, that’s hops proven to be a sedative and relaxant, which is what I want to use them for in my grand social engineering experiment which shall be called “reducing yob behaviour with humulus lupus”.  Consider this if you will; these days, owing to chav mindsets, drinks loaded with caffeine (caffeine and alcohol, now there’s a good idea!), macho drinking culture, stag nights, happy hours, “binge drinking”, drinks being Industrial alcohol-laced and made with undisclosed chemicals, GM ingredients, chain pubs, drinking in rounds, over-estimation of alcohol capacity, “go large” promotions, free drinks with a meal and other such inducements to consume ever more crap-tastic industrially-concocted booze, most people these days ingest nowhere near the hop dose required to relax them as there isn’t much hop in lurid primary-coloured shots or factory-made lager.  So is it any wonder, lacking their daily dose of soporific dimethylvinyl carbinol, that consumers of such execrable tat cause so much trouble and violence on our streets in these days of virtually hop-less consumption?

What’s needed, in my opinion, is compulsory IPA drinking in order to bring consumption of dimethylvinyl carbinol up to levels which will stop 90% of alcohol-related violence in it’s tracks.  I propose that this programme begins at school whereby the milk snatched by Thatcher (isn’t she dead yet?) would be replaced by a heavily hopped alcohol-free shandy or Belgian-style “table beer” which would be of great benefit to kids as, besides their calming effects, hops have strong anti-septic properties6 to deal with routine scrapes and injuries; is there anything hops don’t do?  As the kids grow up the dose of hops in their “hopped table beer” would be increased, both to get them used to the taste and to calm them down as their youthful vigour grows, therefore giving a more relaxed class and consequently better exam results and learning potential.  This dose will be maintained until the children reach legal drinking age by which time they will have been acclimatised to the flavour of hops and will therefore have no issue with the next step of my agenda, the one which is perhaps the most interesting to us beer lovers.

The next phase of my plan’s implementation will have everyone of legal drinking age and above compelled to consume either a pint of specially-brewed National IPA diet supplement or a pill containing the equivalent dosage of hops, whichever they choose, each and every day with a sliding discount on further pints up to a maximum of three.  To do this I would nationalise – without compensation, obviously – the Belhaven, Tetley, Marston, W&D, Fuller, Wadworth and Greene King breweries before turning them over to the production of the aforementioned IPA; this would benefit the populace in two ways, firstly in that the repulsive current products of these brewers would be preventing from polluting handpumps and thus allow more micro beers into pubs and, secondly, the strategic spread of these plants would allow my national IPA to be distributed easily throughout the country.  This National IPA diet supplement would be a 5% pale beer of 6EBC (a very English colour) and around 50IBU (a very American bitterness!) with, as the IBU figure suggests, a hefty dose of hops to provide the requisite soporific qualities I require for my social engineering programme to work.  I therefore predict that, even after their one compulsory daily pint, most chavs and knobheads would be sufficiently mellow and lose their innate desire to fight, and thus my agenda has achieved it’s goal!

So, after reading all the evidence, it’s worth a try don’t you think?  Compared to the billions of pounds spent paying for merchant bankers’ bonuses and MP’s duckhouses the mere few million this would cost would soon repay it’s investment in much reduced police and hospital costs as the soporific effect of the hops kicked in; maybe it would take a generation drinking the hop shandy and National IPA diet supplement for the full effect to be seen, but I still think it’s a social engineering project worth conducting – don’t you?

I foresee only two major problems;  the first would be appointing a “head of national IPA brewing” although I have several candidates in mind for this post, namely Brendan Dobbin as consultant with Sean Franklin and Richard Sutton as head brewing co-ordinators, and secondly the sourcing of enough quality hops to produce the necessary quantities of hop shandy and National IPA diet supplement seeing as most of the hops required – see recipe in the appendix – can’t be grown successfully in the UK owing to our crap climate (although global warming may soon allow us to grow more interesting hops here; Cascades are now being grown in Herefordshire, for example). 

To combat this second problem I therefore propose a radical solution:  if America can (allegedly) invade countries for their oil reserves then I feel the UK is within its constitutional rights to invade California for their – equally valuable – stockpile of hops.  So, with the issues addressed, all that remains for my programme to become reality is government approval which, surely, is merely a civil servant’s rubber-stamp away?  I await the prime minister’s job offer with anticipation…



  1. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Botany Plant Growth Facilities website.
  2. Hallucinations: Behaviour, Experience, and Theory, edited by Siegel, R. K. & West, L. J. (1975).  ISBN: 0-471-79096-6
  3. Wikipedia entry.
  4. Canadian medicinal crops, Ernest Small & Paul M. Catling, p76.  Extract.
  5. Deutsche Apotheker Zeitung 123, R Wohlfart, p1637-1638, 1983, plus (4) also.
  6. Plants for a future website.



Recipe for Gazza’s National IPA diet supplement, © Gazza 2009

This recipe is for 1BBL – scale as required.

Grain Bill

Hop charge

Beer Profile


© Gazza 15/06/09.

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