For the last 5 years, springtime at Royal City Brewing means that The Ward Room is filled with baby hop plants ready to find homes. Each hop is picked up in exchange for a $10 donation to Autism Behavioural Services in Fergus. We send each hop to it's new home to be planted in backyards across the city and nurtured all summer long. Over the last 5 years we've found homes for over 700 hop plants across the city of Guelph and beyond!
Hops offer more than just a flavourful adjunct to our beer, the vines on this perennial plant also create a beautiful shaded spot, as they can grow up to 25 feet by early summer! The experience of growing hops can vary, but with enough sun and a consistent watering schedule, these beautiful plants can flourish and spread over the years to cover large spaces. By mid-late August they start sprouting little fragrant cones with that familiar hop smell we all know and love.
Depending on the weather each year, sometime towards the end of August/Early September we invite all backyard hop growers to come back to the brewery with their hop harvest to contribute to a collective brew we call, Community Brew! It’s a brew jam-packed full of a variety of hop character made with the hops from the very well tended, very much loved hop plants that were only inches high just a few months before.
Although this years Community Brew Launch looks slightly different, in that we are not able to have a big party where backyard hop growers can share stories of their plants over a pint of Community Brew, we are still so thrilled to launch this batch this year! Community Brew 2020 represents a way to connect us all in a very isolated time in our history. Even though we are unable to cheers to this brew in person, we can share stories and images virtually! So don't forget to tag #showusyourhops as you enjoy your well-earned can of Community Brew so we can share in this collective win all together!
For more information on Autism Behavioural Services, visit them here: