What are Hops?

Hops
 

Hops are an essential ingredient in making beer, providing both flavouring and bittering qualities. They grow vertically as bines producing small cones, which are picked and usually dried before being used for brewing.

 

Although beer is the primary reason most hops are grown they also have a long history of use as a medicinal plant. They're considered to be good for treating insomnia and alleviating anxiety thorough an old tradition of sewing dried hops into pillows to aid sleep, as well as using them to make teas and tinctures.

 

More recently hop shoots have started to become popular for eating and are being used as an ingredient in fine dining restaurants. It's been reported that they've sold for as much as 1000 Euros a kilo in Belgium and Holland!

 

There are many different varities of hops and commercial bines can grow as tall as 25 feet tall (thats nearly 8 metres!). Don't worry though, we'll be growing a dwarf variety called 'First Gold', which we've chosen specifically because it grows much smaller than others and so is suited to an inner city environment.