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Hop or Artichoke? A Whole Lot of Confusion

It's all about perspective. What some people see as a hops cone, others see as an artichoke, or vice versa. Can the confusion lead to collaboration?

John Holl Jun 29, 2018 - 6 min read

Hop or Artichoke? A Whole Lot of Confusion Primary Image

Photo by John Holl

A few months ago, I was at the gym, working with a trainer when a few minutes into a session she remarked on how much I must love artichokes. I was momentarily confused by this perceived non sequitur until she pointed at my T-shirt, a "true royal" blue-colored item with a prominent hops cone on the chest. I had to explain what the drawing was actually depicting, and she almost immediately lost interest.

I was reminded of this odd little interaction last week when Planet Dog, a Maine-based company reached out with news of a chew toy, the Orbee-Tuff Artichoke, that they were trying to rebrand as a "Hopichoke" because customers were apparently confusing the vegetable with a hops cone.

This is a fairly common occurrence as a recent freewheeling online conversation among beer-minded people revealed. From shirts, signs, jewelry, and tattoos, hops cones have been confused with everything from artichokes, Brussels sprouts, and pine cones to acorns and porcupines.

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John Holl is the author of Drink Beer, Think Beer: Getting to the Bottom of Every Pint, and has worked for both Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine® and All About Beer Magazine.