Brewers Embrace Urban Hops from Backyard Farmers

Zach Beauvais/CC BY-SA 2.0

From global climate change impacting beer production to a ruling that organic beer must be made with organic hops, we TreeHuggers do like to keep up with that important place where saving the world intersects with drinking good beer.

So I was intrigued by a post from Rob Hopkins about an innovative new community program in which London breweries will buy up hops grown by their neighbors in back gardens, allotments and community farms around the city:

The idea is a simple one: rather than breweries in London buying their hops from wherever they can source them (sometimes as far afield as New Zealand), people across London grow hops in their back gardens, on their patios and balconies, allotments and community gardens, which are then used by local brewers. As they put it, “we want to grow hops across a network of individual and community gardens, get local breweries to make beer out of them and drink the result. Simple!”

Be sure to also check out the City Farmers post on Brixton Beer that inspired Rob's explorations. The idea of businesses building alternative supply chains, effectively crowd sourcing what are often considered commodity ingredients that would otherwise come from around the world, is as intriguing as it is revolutionary.

Besides building up a proprietary supply chain close to home, these breweries are also building up a community of soon-to-be customers too. I mean, who wouldn't want to drink more beer if they knew that it was, in part, a product of their labors?

Tags: Activism | Beer | Communities | Community Gardens | Drinks | Local Food | United Kingdom