Hop-growing research yields "wholly Scottish" beer

The James Hutton Institute has partnered with a local craft brewery to develop "a wholly Scottish beer" made with hops grown at the Institute's Mylnefield Farm.

Image: Paul Miller (CC BY 2.0)
Image: Paul Miller (CC BY 2.0)

Brewed by St Andrews Brewing Company, Harvest Beer is a 4.5 per cent fresh hop pale ale, includes Pioneer, Cascade and First Gold hops grown as part of research into the commercial viability of cultivating hops in Scotland.

Head brewer Simon Tardivel said: "It is exceptionally difficult to grow hops in Scotland’s typically dreich climate, however these hops have allowed us to create a fresh wet hopped beer made with purely Scottish ingredients. This beer is not only exciting news for us, but for the sustainability of Scottish craft beer as a whole."

JHI soft fruit breeding group leader Dr Rex Brennan said: "We decided to try to create a particular environment to investigate the feasibility of growing hops including the development of the polytunnel infrastructure by our Farms, Field and Glasshouses team.

"This has led to a successful experiment for the second year running, and we are now actively considering further work to look into different aspects of hops, such as increased quality and yield, and options for mechanical harvesting."

The research is funded by the Scottish Government's Strategic Research Programme.

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