British rain means good quality hops

03 September, 2010

Hop growers are predicting a quality harvest as a result of the wet August weather.

Scorching temperatures in July and August left fields parched, but the late summer rain brought some welcome respite.

Shepherd Neame head brewer David Holmes said: “We have been monitoring the growth of the hop cones, which are the female part of the plant used to add bitterness and flavour to beer. Thanks to the recent rain we expect to see the cones flourish, resulting in a high-quality harvest.”?Hop picking runs for around six weeks from the end of August and Shepherd Neame says the first ales with the new harvest could be brewed by the end of September.

Holmes added: “All we need is a dry September while the hops are being picked. We’re not expecting a bumper harvest like last year – it will be a case of quality rather than quantity.”




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Rosé tinted glasses

I was asked recently what I thought the biggest change had been in wine fashion in the past five years. My answer was unequivocal: sales of pink wines. From being a niche that expanded and contracted with the sunshine, rosé has subtly but steadily become a stalwart of many merchants’ ranges, with Provence firmly at the top and asked for by name.

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