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Deal Hop Farm begins brewing first harvest to create town's own beer, Hopping Mad

By Beth Robson

A bumper harvest, 3-4 times more than expected, was reaped by Deal Hop Farm and today brewing begins.

They have collected 75kgs of hops from about 94 sites around the town in the community growing project’s first ever harvest.

Speed and efficiency was key when the hops were picked yesterday (Thursday) and from today (Friday) brewing started at Ripple Steam Brewery in Sutton.

Deal Hop Farm harvested its hops yesterday and brewing began today
Deal Hop Farm harvested its hops yesterday and brewing began today

Steve Wakeford, from Deal Hop Farm said: “The Landmark Centre, where they were all brought together, was overrun with hops, hop pickers. There was a ridiculous number of people in the town involved.”

Deal With It, the local green community group, launched Deal Hop Farm in January this year.

Since then, the voluntary group has grown to form a patchwork of farm sites in peoples’ gardens, allotments and community spaces, including English Heritage’s kitchen garden at Walmer Castle.

With almost 200 people involved, it has become one of the largest community growing projects in the country.

Mr Wakeford previously told Kentonline that the project has gone brilliantly and thanked the hoppers.

Yesterday hops were picked from 3pm and the Landmark Garden in Deal High Street has been the main base for people dropping off their picked hops for weighing.

Deal will have its own beer, made from this harvest aptly named Hopping Mad, available in the town from the end of October.

David Cliff, head brewer at Ripple Steam Brewery, said: “We are very supportive of this fantastic community hop-growing scheme and are looking forward to be brewing a special green hop beer using the Deal Hop Farm’s freshly harvested hops.”

Impressed? Join Deal Hop Farm next time by clicking here or emailing info@dealhopfarm.org.uk or phone 01304 372673.

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