Cheers to The Grove’s bespoke craft beer
30 September 2018 / Food and Drink / Garden /
If you’ve wandered around our Kitchen Garden recently, you may have spotted a maypole-like contraption amongst the fruit and vegetables. Since February 2018, this has been home to our homegrown hops – planted in partnership with the nearby craft beer producer Watling Street Brewery. These hops are soon to become a bespoke beer, exclusive to The Grove.
Situated just a few miles from The Grove, Watling Street Brewery was founded by Rudi Keyser who discovered a passion for brewing when he received a beer-making course for his birthday. The brand is named after nearby Watling Street, an ancient trackway that runs through Hertfordshire.
Rudi and our garden team planted four varieties of hops earlier this year. Our gardeners have since been overseeing their growth, with Rudi visiting frequently to monitor the progress. We caught up with him to find out more about about what we can expect.
Please tell us a little bit more about the hops
We’ve grown four types of hops: Cascade, which is an American variety, plus Challenger, Fuggles and Northdown, which are all historically English varieties. We planted them in February 2018 and the yield has been around double what we were expecting, which of course we are absolutely thrilled about.
How much do you expect to get out of the crops?
We are expecting over 20,000 pints, but we will know for sure once we’ve weighed the hops.
Why do you think the growth has been such a success?
The yield delivered over double what was expected and this is due a combination of the great weather and the skills of the gardening team. We enjoyed some fantastic weather over the summer, and the skills of The Grove’s fantastic gardening team meant they were well looked-after so they could really flourish.
What type of beer will the hops produce?
There’ll be two beers available at The Grove. The first is a a pale ale IPA, and the second is a more traditional premium bitter. Both types will be available to buy from The Grove in bottles from the end of October.