An independent Shropshire brewery is looking to celebrate the rich flavours of the surrounding countryside — crafting a new autumnal brew that utilises a uniquely flavoured hop grown just 10 miles down the road.
This month, Hobsons Brewery, based in Cleobury Mortimer, will be brewing its annual ‘Green Hop’ beer, which, this year, is set to use traditional Challenger hops sourced from Orleton Court farm, operated by JW Spilsbury & Co.
Deeply rooted in tradition, the unique brewing process has passed the test of time and sees the hops added to the brew the same day they’re picked — resulting in a truly fresh 4.2% golden beer with spicy and sweet floral flavours with notes of honey.
As a sustainable brewery that celebrates local provenance, the annual Green Hop brew is always an exciting prospect for the Hobsons team. By utilising hops from a local supplier based so close to the brewery, it is hoping to craft a beer that truly captures the essence of Shropshire’s rich harvest season.
Ensuring each team member has a strong knowledge of its products, Alex Bradley, a Sales Account Manager at Hobsons, will be gaining some hands-on experience after expressing her interest in the brewing process — working closely alongside Head Brewer, Tino and his team on one of the busiest days of the year.
Nick Davis, founder of Hobsons, said: “The Green Hop brew is always a personal highlight in my calendar. The demanding brewing process really takes us back in time and although we are always looking to improve our brewing techniques, it’s nice to lean on tradition and replicate the approach that the industry was built upon. It’s always a full-on day for the team, but taking a brew all the way from field to beer is a satisfying process.”
With the brewing process set to commence early in the morning, the freshly picked Challenger hops will be collected by the Hobsons team and added to the brew just after lunch. Once the hops have boiled away for half an hour, the brew is transferred into a fermentation tank, where the beer continues to develop flavour and the desired ABV.
After a week of fermenting, the brew is filled into casks ready to go on the real-ale hand-pull at selected pubs across the region. A couple of weeks later the beer is also bottled and sent to a warm conditioning room, allowing the yeast to continue to ferment and ensuring it’s as close to a cask ale as possible. Once the beer has finished conditioning, it is ready to make its way out to trade customers and will be available to purchase on the Hobsons website.
Nick continued: “Engaging with local suppliers has been so important to Hobsons over the past three decades and we are forever grateful to be nestled in the rich Shropshire countryside. This beer is a real celebration of that locality and after what’s set to be a full-on day for the team, we are all looking forward to trying a pint!”
Due to the unpredictable nature of the growing process, Hobsons is anticipating harvesting the hops and brewing the beer on the 13th of September, however, this is subject to change.