On 5th September the University’s heritage hops were harvested to make the new Green Hop Ale in partnership with the Canterbury Brewers and Distillers, based at the Foundry Brewpub.
This year a bumper crop presented a problem for the small number of staff and students that turned up in the morning.
However, at 11.45, seventy Japanese students appeared, corralled by Dina Norris, Antonia Linehan and other colleagues from the General EFL course.
Over the following hour the majority of the hops were picked and stacked in to boxes before being walked through Canterbury to the Foundry, blessed by Senior Chaplain Dave Stroud and added to the mash!
Our heritage hop bines normally provide about 1/3 of the hops (10kg) required for the brew, but this year, as a consequence of a new training method, a good summer, and constant attention from John Hills, the harvest produced 37.5kg!
The new ale ‘Tradescant 400’ celebrates the 400th anniversary of the decade that John Tradescant ‘the elder’, father of English gardening, designed the gardens at St Augustine’s Abbey. In 2015 a larch was planted on campus to celebrate Tradescant 400 and to represent the wide range of plants that he introduced to England.
It will be launched at the Canterbury Food and Drink Festival (27/29 Sept), and will be available to purchase in bottles in early October from the Food Court.
Wild hops still grow on the corner of the old tennis courts on which the Moore Classrooms now sit.
If anyone would like the hops to take and display or dry for home decoration do get in touch with the Sustainability team either by email (if you’re a current staff member or student) or through our facebook page.
Next year we are planning a mini hop festival on Anselm lawn to celebrate the picking, which we hope will demonstrate the variety of uses for hops, as well as providing a conducive environment for picking our crop.