Urban Hops Harvested on High for London’s ‘True Brew’
By Don Ferguson on Thursday, October 3, 2013
Before we get into it, I hold my hands up now – this little campaign is absolutely one of ours. That said, it’s one I am particularly proud of.
To give some background of this slightly barmy scheme, working with our friends at Greenwich based Meantime Brewing Company (London’s finest craft brewers) we spent a very enjoyable March, April and May planting hundreds of hop plants across the capital.
In a bid to engage a myriad of lovely Londoners with the art of modern British craft brewing, we have been working hard to create the City’s first “crowd-sourced” beer – one that reflects a true “flavour” of the capital.
It’s safe to say that the hops have flourished over the hot summer months and the bumper harvest of verdant green fuggles have grown against the backdrop of the city in spectacular style, including two Royal parks – St James’ Park and Regent’s Park, The Natural History Museum, The National Theatre, Battersea Power Station and The Roof Gardens to name but a few.
What’s more, literally dozens of pubs, restaurants and hotels have also contributed to the brew growing hops in their gardens, on balconies and rooftops and even some having taking over space in their precious bars.
Now, as they hit their flavour peak, it was only right we led the charge and set about harvesting these little beauties to take back to Greenwich and set about making a truly unique Meantime beer. A few days of climbing lampposts, scaling walls and vaulting fences later, our team of hop-pickers finally grabbed the lot and are now ready to get brewing for a spectacular beery end to a fabulous year.
The brew (well, ‘True Brew’) will be made at Meantime’s cutting edge brewery, and in true egalitarian spirit, even the name of the beer will be crowd-sourced as members of the public will be encouraged to suggest names via Twitter and Facebook. Soon to be available in pubs around London, it won’t be long until everyone will be able to raise a glass and enjoy in the heart of the very city in which it was grown.
Nick Miller, Meantime’s CEO:
“London is an exciting place to be a brewer right now. The variety of ingredients at our disposal is huge and it allows us to pack flavour into our beer. More than ever, the public are interested in ingredients and where they come from – the hop gardens have got people talking and asking questions about how their beer is brewed.”
Alastair Hook, the Meantime Brewmaster who has been brewing in the Capital for over 20 years and has been a leading light in the revival of beer-making in the city said:
“We’re Londoners at heart. Our beer is rooted in this town’s colourful brewing past, both in flavour and in character, but also in attitude. We’ve been growing hops with people and outlets that share our passion for this fine City and hope doing has got a few more people excited about the quiet revolution going on in beer making.”
“This will be a beer made by Londoners, for Londoners.”
To see the location of each hop garden, take a look at the following map: