So, on a random late summer day our MD and founder was ... Standing in the kitchen, chatting about the popularity of Citra (as in hops) and how, as a result of it being in short supply, Mosaic is becoming more and more popular - Helen, one of our elves was saying how she'd enjoyed a great beer brewed using Mosaic at the Witham Beer festival over the bank holiday weekend.
The conversation turned to hops being sourced outside the authorised channel - it was Paul's understanding that all Citra for example should come from one source and wondering if there were rogue crops of citra in hedgerows or gardens around the country. Is it possible to stop something like that happening with a plant. Admittedly, you'd need dedication since hops don't begin to flower for 2 years after planting - but, could there be, in a secluded part of a national park a field of Citra being secretly cultivated and guarded by armed hipsters in something akin to The Beach? I digress, because somehow, that conversation turned to sources of wild hops and one place in particular close to us in Billericay that has oodles of hops and no plans to do anything with them....
And before we knew it, we were planning a picking session, booking a slot at UBREW and heading there next week to brew a wild harvest Javelina IPA, a recipe developed by our very own head of e-comm, Dylan Fuller.
Disaster nearly struck - the location had engaged gardeners to tidy up their garden and a lot of the hops were now cleared, but we think, between some other wild locations and what remains, we can make something using this found crop!
Not to worry, we've sourced both some fresh (green) and wild hops, plus the nano brew kit down in Bermondsey at UBREW. We've been consulting some of our professional brewing friends on a new recipe. Now looking to do more an english style pale ale with a twist, more wild boar than Javelina perhaps? Let those fresh hops shine. So we are all set to brew an Ales By Mail 'wild' beer or at least feral beer. Gonna be shed loads of fun for the team. Wacth this space. :-)
More to following next Tuesday when the team become apprentice brewers for the day!