The Bristol Hopyard

hops (4)A hoptimistic crew gathered in front of the Beyond the Pale Brewing Company on Monday; we were on a harvest mission. The sun was shining, the sky was blue and there were beers in the van, so off we went to find a little bit of heaven at Richard and Lynda’s farm, Bristol Hops.hops (17)hops (3)hops (11)Never having picked hops before, I had pictured us going through a field of bines (that’s not a typo! the hop “vines” are called bines – you learn something new every day, right?) picking buds as we went, possibly on ladders, and probably getting sunburned. Luckily, the process was much more practical than what I had imagined: Richard cut down the bines for us, and sitting in a circle in the shade, we’d each take a “bouquet” and get to work filling our bins with the fragrant green buds. I also learned that hops are soporific, so we were equipped with latex gloves to ensure that no one dozed off on the job – Finnegan kept watch over us as well.

Finnegan keeping an eye on things.

Finnegan keeping an eye on things.

There's a caterpillar camouflaged in there.

There’s a caterpillar camouflaged in there.

hops (5)hops (9) We picked about 16 kilos of hops in the afternoon, and were rewarded with Lynda’s amazing pizzas and chocolate cake…and more beer. With full bellies and baskets of hops, we piled back in to the rocket van and returned to Hintonburg; the group consensus was that it was a pretty wonderful way to spend a Monday.hops (13)hops (15)hops (16) hops (19)hops (2)These organic Cascade hops that we picked will be the superstar of BTP’s harvest ale. By now, the hops have been dried and the beer has been brewed, so it’s just a matter of time until it’s ready for a taste. You can stay updated with Beyond the Pale on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram – you won’t want to miss the hopportunity to taste this local brew. (I can already hear the collective groans – you should know how many more beer puns I resisted throwing in here. It could have been brewtal.)btp
Thanks so much, Lynda and Richard, for the loveliest September day. Cheers!

Thanks so much, Lynda and Richard, for the loveliest September day. Cheers!

3 thoughts on “The Bristol Hopyard

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