Red Hill Brewery
As technology and industrialisation in the brewing industry has developed, beer has become much more removed from its source ingredients than wine. The annual hop harvest is something that any beer lover should see at least once to reconnect with the agricultural source of their favourite drink. Even better than seeing the hops is to take part in the annual hop harvest.
Red Hill Brewery on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula is one of only a handful of Australian breweries that grow their own hops. Each year they invite beer lovers to come and help them harvest the hops, which really is an experience not to be missed.
This year’s harvest is on Tuesday 9th March, and unfortunately all places are taken. Subscribe to the brewery’s mailing list to get the call for next year’s hop picking.
Tomorrow, the brewers will be doing a smaller pick of some Goldings hops to be brewed the same day into their Hop Harvest Ale. This year’s, an ESB, is also being brewed as an anniversary ale to mark the brewery’s 5th year of operations. Even if you can’t be a part of the picking, you can be part of the drinking.
Bridge Road Brewery
Ben Kraus owner/brewer at Beechworth’s Bridge Road Brewery has a very modest hop garden of East Kent Goldings, but also has access to the research garden at the nearby Rostrevor Hop Gardens. These provide him with access to some experimental hop varieties that he is among the first to use. Last year Ben turned out The Harvest, a fresh-hopped version of his Australian Ale and Ben is about to brew The Harvest II. The hop harvest will take place on Monday 14th March and the beer will be available in April or May. The uncertainty of exactly when is because, as Ben explains, “we keep adding hops to it until we think it’s ready.”