On the 3rd September this year we finally started up the picking machine and fired up the kilns, a little later than previous years, but we can only start picking when the time is right. With the tractors dusted off ready and seasonal workers arriving we couldn’t wait to get stuck in.
2018 has been a year of weather extremes, giving us the ‘beast from the east’ in February and then one of the hottest driest summers on record. However this drought did not affect our hops who had plenty to drink during this very unforgiving dry spell, all thanks to our irrigation system going full steam ahead 24 hours a day.
On a farm that grows multiple varieties of hops timing is everything. With the different varieties ripening at different times throughout harvest, it’s imperative to pick hops in the small ripening widow that they have to ensure the hop itself is at its peak condition. Based on this knowledge we start picking our Fuggle, taking over a week to complete. Then we spend little over a day in the Goldings, another week in the Challenger and then finishing up in the Bullion.
Check out this Drone footage taken right in the middle of harvest!
During harvest it has become a tradition for breweries to brew a green hopped beer. And with the picking schedule in mind, selection of the right variety is crucial to planning the perfect brew. So throughout harvest breweries and merchants alike ordered their green hops and collected them in their droves. The earliest being 7:30am and the largest quantity being 125kg.
So a big well done to all the breweries who made the effort to keep this tradition going, and having tried a few down the years, I can see its only going to get better.
And last of all a big thank you to all the team who worked their socks off the whole harvest. See you next year for some more fun!!!