Caffle’s Community Hops Project

With reports of a global hop shortage and the influx in price of the aromatic little green guys, you can’t blame some breweries for growing their own hops. Not only does it hold that added local touch of love, many of these hop growing projects involve the community.

Last year we saw the people of Cardiff club together to harvest hops for PIPES Brewery to create Taff Temptress and this year sees one Pembrokeshire based brewery undergo a similar scheme of encouraging their local community to help in their hop growing effort in return for beer.

“We hace a hop growing co-op with plants being delivered ready for planting at the end of the month,” said Chriss Bannister, the owner of Caffle Brewery. “Local beer enthusiasts will be growing a variety of hops for us to make more of our popular Green Hop Ales and their payback is free Green Hop Ale!” he continued.

After attending an event last year to encourage Welsh farmers to grow hops in return for beer coupled with the realisation that they would need a whole bunch of hops to enable them to brew their Green Hop Ale, and deciding that if they were grown locally, it would only inject more Pembrokeshire charm to their range of beers that already pay homage to the area with their names, the owners, Chris and Sharon, invited people down to an open evening last month for all who were interested.

The brewery, who have been growing their own hops on a small scale for a number of years, managed to drum up enough interest from the local community and decided that the long term aim would be to brew three Green Hop Ales and would therefore need to grow Fuggles, Goldings, Cascade, Prima Donna and Challenger hops.

“Plants were sourced in the UK from a reputable supplier ensuring good stock,” Chris explained and the keen hop harvesters would be able to buy the plants in return for a personalised bottle of the beer.

With planting planned for March, their first Green Hop Ale should be brewed this year although the plants will not reach their maximum harvest until after the first two years.

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