Grow Beer

What is Grow Beer?
Grow Beer is about hop growers, brewers and hostelries who work together to grow, brew and enjoy beer as part of a connected system.

It’s about people and place
Grow Beer started as an idea to challenge the norms around food growing, land ownership and efficiency of labour to create an alternative model as part of the beer economy. It’s about a collective of patchwork hop farmers, who grow hops in unexpected places, with hops chosen for their suitability, quality and relevance to place. So far, hops are growing in housing estates, community and communal gardens, balconies, backyards, gardens, parks, allotments, castles and church yards. The hop collective trade with their local brewer, where at the right moment the hops are picked by each grower, who gather at the brewery for the hop weigh-in and within hours the freshly picked hops are in the mash tun, and the green hop beer is on its way. The seasonal beer is enjoyed within growing distance in tap rooms, pubs and festivals, connecting people and place.

The power of the collective
Founded by Ann Bodkin and Helen Steer in 2011, the Grow Beer model was first tested with Brixton Beer Co and has sustained growing in south London since. The experimental nature of the model helps to nurture projects across the land, whilst cultivating a respect for UK hop varieties and supporting regional beer production. The idea has been adopted in more than 20 towns and cities across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland and twin-towns across Europe. Each group is independent, taking the principles of the Grow Beer model to respect a whole system balance, to approach projects with an open mind which reflect their collective. The success of a project is in working together, gaining confidence to make all parts succeed, whilst adjusting when opportunities and challenges occur.

Stories and resources
In stories you’ll hear from across the groups, which presents a rich and varied voice, reflecting the supportive nature of groups. I want to grow/brew offers information on how projects can work and what’s involved. By following the principles of the creative commons, this reciprocal nature of sharing knowledge is how we listen and learn, by paying respect to those who contribute. Thanks all.