Grow hops to feed the craft beer boom, Welsh growers urged

Welsh growers are being urged to consider growing hops to meet demand from the burgeoning independent brewing sector.

Hop growing - image:HW
Hop growing - image:HW

Horticulture Wales and Cywain, two business development bodies funded by the Welsh Government and the EU, has organised a study tour of a large hop grower and hop merchant in western England next month.

Attendees will learn about the current market demand for hops, the technical aspects of the hop growing process, new variety development, and some of the challenges hop growers face.

Horticulture Wales project development officer Louise Dolan said: "While the popularity of micro-brewing and craft beer has increased phenomenally over recent years, the vast majority of hops production is still concentrated in the traditional growing areas in the Midlands and southeast of England.

"We hope our event will inspire farmers and growers in Wales to explore the opportunities on offer in the craft beer sector."

There are now more than 1,100 microbreweries in the UK, the highest figure in more than 70 years, according to the Campaign for Real Ale.

For details on taking part in the tour, visit the Cywain website.

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