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Brewhouse Blog 11- A Brewer's Pilgrimage for British Hops

The September hop walk returned this year in all its glory: a time when we brewers make our annual pilgrimage to the hop gardens of Worcestershire and Herefordshire to meet and talk all things hop and this year hosted by Richard and Ali Capper (and Richard’s father Mark) at Stocks farm Suckley, Worcestershire.


Having not been for several years the first thing that I noticed was how much bigger it had become. There are so many brewers out there now. Good for English hop growers you might surmise, well, I’ll get back to that.


The day goes like this. By mid morning the large marquee is filled with a throng of folk from the brewing industry all ‘networking’. Uncomfortable for me as I am naturally shy, but I was pleased to meet kindred spirits from other breweries who share a dislike of vertical float dispense systems as much as I do! It’s always good to know that you are not alone. Just after 12 we are fed and watered, and this includes a variety of beers on tap. These are either single hopped or combinations of new English hop varieties. The idea of course is to give brewers an idea of new flavours in British hop development. After lunch it’s time for the presentations where we get to hear how the harvest is going in various parts of the World and finally you get to walk around the farm and observe the various operations of the harvest. Except on this occasion where the frequent showers bordered on a near continuous deluge. And it’s too dangerous to harvest in the rain. Although cut bines harvested earlier were held back to demonstrate the processing for folk who hadn’t seen it before.

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