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The 2021 season started to look a little more “normal” at Stocks Farm. We had visitors for the first time in two years, hosting the Charles Faram Hop Walk, and welcomed film crews and photographers too!
The Charles Faram Hop Walk 2021
Brewers from all over the country – around 400 of them – entered the covid-secure marquee which was in a wonderful position next to fragrant Jester hops and a quick stroll away from the picking shed. Brewers were able to taste amazing beers brewed with British Hops and hear about the hop harvest from around the main growing regions, including a speech by Ali Capper all about the trials of British Hop farmers over the last 12 months, and some exciting projects in the pipeline with new varieties. The day culminated in a tour of the hop yards and picking shed, were brewers were able to see the Pilgrim hops being picked, before taking bines and cones home with them for decorating and brewing with.
BBC Breakfast and Countryfile
It was a bright and early start, welcoming the BBC Breakfast crew to the hopyards at the start of the picking season to meet our harvest crew and discuss seasonal labour with Ali. It was very exciting to see satellite vans and camera crews on site, and luckily the live links all worked!
A few days later, it was the turn of the Countryfile crew to visit – this time, talking all about new British Hop Varieties and tasting some delicious Buxton Brewery beers. Anita Rani and her crew had a wonderful time walking through the Olicana hop yards and beer tasting. You can click on this link for BBC iPlayer and see Stocks Farm from 48.41.
Photographers and Videographers
We love being able to host photographers at Stocks Farm – there is something magical about the hop harvest which is hard to capture on a photo and this year, Duncan Elliot (top 2 images) and Ruth Dowding (bottom 2 images) rose to the challenge. Click on the photographer’s names to see more, and look out for more details coming on our blog soon because Duncan’s harvest photos are part of a year long project that’s been happening at Stocks Farm since the spring.
We continued to grow a reduced area of hops for the second year in a row, having to “idle” several acres due to demand and the knock on effect of Covid-19. The hops that we did harvest were good quality, and we’re hoping that the brewers will be inspired by the incredible aromas. There was also a small patch of hops that haven’t been harvested, despite being strung – these are new Harlequin hops that were planted in the spring – it is better for the plants to leave this first growth as it makes the plant stronger for the following years. We now need the support of merchants and brewers for 2022. We hope that things start to look more positive for the industry.
All our wonderful hop varieties are available from our Homebrew Hop Shop: https://stocksfarm.net/shop/