Hops

Posted by admin on October-6-2011 Add Comments

hopshopsDwarf hops

Beer probably reached this country in the C15th, and although Kent is more famous for hop-growing than this area, the hopyards of Herefordshire have also been in cultivation for hundreds of years. The female flowers or cones, are used in the brewing of beer to give it its distinctive bitter taste. The Woodhouse used to grow hops when it was still a working farm and we have found many hop tokens with which the workers were paid, as well as the metal spikes which were used to peg down the hop strings. We have converted two hopkilns or oasthouses as they are called in Kent, and a hopbarn (where the hop pockets were filled with the hops after they been dried in the kilns), into the property called Daubentons. Early Autumn is the time of the year when the countryside becomes permeated with the scent of the fresh hops, and long strings or bines, as they are called, are put up in hotels and pubs as decorations. Nowadays many of the hopyards grow dwarf hops as they are more resistant to hopwilt than the tall traditional hop plants. Hops have a greater variety of uses than just brewing, however. They can be used in pot pourri, to aid sleep and even as environmentally-friendly confetti! Click on the photos to go to the Bromyard Hop Festival website.

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