29 March 2011
Report & Photos by Ellerslie Hop.
Tuesday March 1st saw Ellerslie host the inaugural Ellerslie hop walk. After all the unusual summer rain we have experienced this year, mother nature decided that we would have a glorious sunny day making it ideal for everybody involved to enjoy the full experience of hop production.
During the course of the day people were given the opportunity to view our extensive hop breeding and propagation programs and during the field walk people were able to inspect some of the new experimental varieties currently being developed by the Ellerslie breeding team.
During the field walk people were given an insight into the stringing, training and soil/petiole work that goes on behind the scenes to help in achieving high yields and good consistent alphas to match the variety. People were able to “get their hands dirty” and learn about the cone biology and dynamics of garden husbandry.
With this new found knowledge of the hop growing cycle we all hopped (no pun intended) aboard Ellerslie’s bus and toured the various gardens stopping along the way to watch harvest in full swing. We were able to follow the progress of a trailer of hops from the hop garden through the picking and kilning process and ultimately through to bale and cool-storage. On our kiln, conditioning floors brewers were obviously in their element with several diving into piles of hop cones to experience the full aroma of the different varieties. (Several were seen to be stuffing fresh dried cones into their pockets, so we should see some interesting beers being produced over the next few weeks).
The process of pelleting and analysis was outlined in detail with all people coming away from the processing facility with a greater appreciation of the steps involved in ensuring that only fresh quality hops are processed and cool-store all in one central location.
After the field walk and tour it was time to sit back and relax over a traditional Australian BBQ and enjoy a few cold beers and discuss different beer styles and hopping regimes. Prior to our Hop Walk Australia had just hosted the “International Hop Growers Congress” so it was a perfect opportunity for all present to learn of several new and exciting developments within the global hop industry.
The day was a huge success with Brewers and guests coming away with a better understanding and appreciation for the hop industry and from all the feedback we have received then brewers can look forward to this becoming an annual event at Ellerslie Hop.
Watch the video below:
Video Supplied by Ellerslie Hop from the Hop Walk.
We have supplied a video to show how the hops at Ellerslie Hop farm are harvested. Two tractors are used, the one at the back, which is hoisting the two men cutting down the hops, the second tractor is pushing the tractor at the front, as its in neutral, which collects the hops. Two men are ahead of the tractors cutting the base of the Hop bines (which are a combination of the coir twine and hop bine) this allows the two men in the crow’s nest of the second tractor to cut the hop bine at the top and lower the cut bines into the front trailer, as seen in the video.