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After good winter growing conditions, we saw plenty of hops shooting up in the spring ready for hop stringing and tying. Having grown hops for decades, we knew that we needed to get our team together, but this was not as easy as “normal.” Travel restrictions meant that our normal team from Poland were unable to travel, so we sought help from locals to fill the positions.
There were tough decisions to be made regarding hop growing in 2020. By the time the stringing was near completion, the country was in lockdown with pubs and bars closed, dramatically reducing breweries demand for hops. The decision was made to reduce the hop acreage by nearly 25% and we said goodbye to growing the Sovereign Hops.
Picking began slightly earlier – August Bank Holiday is usually the starting date, but with hops ripe and ready, we began with Goldings on 26th August. Hop picking teams were split into covid-safe “bubbles” and we got to work harvesting, drying and baling this year’s crop.
It normally takes around 5 weeks to harvest the hops, but it was quicker in 2020 and the harvest ran smoothly through The Bruff picker. Our hop harvest was complete by the end of September.
It was a strange year, but the hops performed well with fantastic aromas and alpha scores – just another example of nature carrying on regardless of whatever else might be happening.
To buy 2020 hops for homebrewing, click here: https://stocksfarm.net/shop/