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Hop to it! Adnams needs you!

By Sarah Groves, also posted in News on

Adnams Fergus Fitzgerald with the hops growing in the yard at the Whisky Dunnage in SouthwoldAdnams has launched a county-wide appeal for donations of wild and garden hops and is urging beer lovers to report sightings of them growing to help create a new Wild Hop beer, due to be launched this autumn. The recipe for the new beer - which is set to be an amber pale ale - requires hops that are freshly-picked and that have skipped the drying process. We are making a plea to members of the public to let us know if they have hops growing in their garden which they are willing to donate, or if they know where wild hops are located. To ensure a truly fresh, green hop beer, the collected hops will be frozen until the brewing date and will be mixed with a few tamed garden and commercially grown hops. There will be just one brew of the Wild Hop beer which will be in pubs in the autumn (date to be confirmed). The beer will be available in bottle from Adnams stores. Commenting on the appeal and the forthcoming beer Fergus Fitzgerald, head brewer at Adnams, says: “We are very excited about this new beer as it is the first time that we’ve used wild and green hops. By sourcing hops in this way, there will be an unknown mix of varieties to work with and each is likely to be grown in varying soil types – which means it’s all slightly unpredictable, but that’s what makes it so interesting! “By concentrating heavily on the hop flavours, we will create a brew full of fresh, grassy, citrus and pine flavours and aromas - a true taste of East Anglia. We have already spotted a few wild hops growing and have the landowners' permission to pick them, but it would be great to get a few more. We’ve promised to give anyone who donates garden or wild hops, some of the finished beer as a thank you to for their foraging.”

How to get involved

[caption id="attachment_15090" align="alignright" width="265"]Adnams hops growing in Southwold Adnams hops growing in Southwold[/caption] We are looking for hops picked early in September, before they start turning from green to brown. It is also important that the hops are organic or have only been sprayed with food-friendly pesticides. Please just pick the plant’s green cones, leaving the bine in tact so that the plant will re-grow next year. Hops 'oxidise' quickly and go brown, which means that the hops need to be delivered to us as soon as possible after picking - we'll freeze them upon arrival at the brewery. If you can't get to the brewery yourself, please let Belinda know by email before you pick them. If you have hops on your land or have seen them growing in the hedgerows, please contact the Hop Spot Team at Adnams by emailing or tweeting @Adnams. We will then let you know where and when to deliver your hops to us here in Southwold. If you spot wild hops, we can assess whether they are on land which is common or public before picking. Please note that if the hops are on private land pickers must seek permission of the landowner. The brewing team is also working closely with conservationists on the suitability of each location for collecting wild hops on common land. Read more in our short guide to hop spotting.      


Sarah Groves