Beer Hops Humulus lupulus (common hop or hop) is a species of flowering plant in the Cannabaceae family, native to Europe, western Asia and North America. It is a dioecious, perennial, herbaceous climbing plant which sends up new shoots in early spring and dies back to a cold-hardy rhizome in autumn. Strictly speaking it is a bine rather than a vine, using its own shoots to act as supports for new growth. H. lupulus is the main ingredient of many beers, and as such is widely cultivated for use by the brewing industry . The fragrant flower cones impart bitterness and flavor, and also have preservative qualities.