NEWS: Brixton Beer – coming to a pub near you

Helen Steer and Pete Boyce, from City Farmers at Lambeth Country Show
Helen Steer and Pete Boyce, from City Farmers at Lambeth Country Show

A new scheme that aims to grow hops, brew beer, and drink the outcome has just been launched in Lambeth.

Brixton Beer is the brainchild of City Farmers founder Helen Steer, who wants people in Brixton to grow hops in their back gardens to help make gallons of the hyperlocal tipple.

Steer, together with Ann Bodkin, is appealing for green-fingered residents to come forward and volunteer for the big planting day on March 17.

She got the idea for the Brixton Beer project while in Portugal last year, where she was amazed by how many local products were on offer, particular wines and beers.

“I have always been a beer lover, and we’ve made our own wines before,” Steer told the Brixton Blog today. “So I thought it would be really cool for City Farmers to support a really local project.”

She added: “In parts of the US, where I have friends, there is a strong microbrewing community. It means people have a much better idea of where their food and drink comes from.”

About 35 people have come forward and offered to nurture a hop plant. Each one grows to about six feet high and can yield up to one kilo of hops for brewing. Steer hopes she can double that before she orders the seeds early next month.

The team will be helped by the south London Master Gardeners on the project, and will create instructional videos on Youtube showing volunteers how to prepare their ground and plant the hop plants themselves.

Steer continued: “It’s just a question of getting people signed up now.”

The hops will be collected in the autumn and taken to brewers the City Farmers met through the London Brewers Alliance. A harvest celebration, with inevitable tasting, will later take place somewhere in Brixton.

To find out more, and to sign up be a hop grower, visit the City Farmers website here.