What is Growing Beer?
I’ve set myself the challenge to brew a beer completely from scratch. I’ve got roughly 6m2 of rough, unloved land and one major rule: all of the ingredients must be grown or collected on site. This means preparing the land, growing or gathering the ingredients, harvesting and processing them and finally brewing them.
It’s going to take a lot of work but it’s going to be a brilliant journey. Whilst I know a fair bit about beer and brewing, I am a stranger to the worlds of horticulture, agriculture and microbiology so I’ll be needing some help from friends old and new – at each stage I will be interviewing a leading expert and making the most of their knowledge to maximise my chances of success.
I’ll be documenting the progress through regular podcasts and keeping you up to date with photos, video and content on the website too. I’ll be looking at all of the ingredients, talking to all of the people who passionately grow, harvest and use them, and learning more about the fascinating and ever-changing world that is beer.
Modern beer combines one of history’s biggest industries with an increasingly diverse and enthusiastic range of drinkers. People have more interest in how beer is made, how the ingredients are sourced and how brewers are inspired in their recipe creation. I love drinking beers of different styles from across the world, but I’m also interested in finding out more about our national and local brewing history. Few of us (me included) realise just how much effort, and how many people, are involved in getting that glorious pint of beer into the glass, bottle or can in front of us.
It all starts in January 2017 with the preparation of the ground, before the planting in early spring, growing and then harvesting into late summer and the brew in late autumn. The site will be updated as we move through the year whilst the main outcome, the podcast, will be launched as a weekly series from August.