The message went out to visitors at the Town Show to grow your own hop plant and join Farnham Hoppers in creating a community-brewed beer. The idea of growing a hop plant and harvesting, all in the first year, with free beer to share and to celebrate Farnham’s Green Pint has certainly taken off – with lots of interest!
Farnham Hoppers will organise a community harvest and brew day working with a local micro-brewery. Harvesting will need to be speedy so that the green hops get to the vat in time to impart their flavour to the beer. After maturation they’ll be a fair share of beer for all, sometime in October, at a Green Beerfest (tbc)! The brewer gets a half share and the rest goes to the Hoppers. A Farnham pub will be chosen to sell the community brew: a sure sell out!
One healthy, dwarf Prima Donna rhizome produces enough hops for 12 pints. Garden cultivation is not difficult, though there are challenges! The Farnham Hoppers will provide you with a starter pack in March 2014, online instruction and guidance for success, active social programme with field trips to local hop gardens and breweries.
People liked the concept and were asked to register their interest in the project. The register now stands at 37, which includes people who signed up on Sunday at the Farmers’ Market. We’ll have another promotion at the Farnham Food Festival on 28th September with the aim of raising the register to 50.
Meanwhile discussions will go ahead with a brewer and with our buying group for the supply of rhizomes. Everyone who signed the register will be kept in touch with a newsletter and advised of developments including when plants will be available and price of starter pack.
If anyone would be willing to help in a small Steering Group, please contact me via this website. It’s good to have three or four minds at work on this so all can enjoy a well-organised project.
For a good review of the idea of community beer projects, see Rob Hopkins blog at http://transitionculture.org/2012/02/20/when-the-hop-fields-come-to-town/
Finally, a Farnham Hoppers blog has been created at http://www.farnhamhoppers.wordpress.com Please use this as our Beer Project website to share ideas, keep up-to-date with the hop news and any experience with hop growing and links to other community beer projects.