hop growers A-Z

Hop Grower’s Alphabet

Our Hop Grower’s Alphabet is over on Instagram.  You might like to see it, if so click on the floating bottle top on this page it will take you directly there.  Alternately you can Google @abushelofhops on Instagram. The relevant posts started on 19th May and went through to 22nd June.  Below is the list of what was included in our Hop Growers A-Z.  It was certainly a fun thing to do and hopefully you will enjoy reading through it.

  • A is for Aerial and Alpha Acid. 
  • B is for bushel baskets, bines, besoms and beer.
  •  C is for cowl, crow’s nest and cooling floor
  • D is for dawn, drawing, Dr Peter Darby and Drying the hops naturally. Bit of a mixed bag!
  • E is EKG. East Kent Goldings are one of Britain’s most well known hop varieties and also Enhancing Habitats.
  • F is for Fuggles, fabric, fresh and fragrance.
  • G is for grower, gardens and goad used for stringing.
  • H is for Hops, Handwork and Home brewing.
  • J is for January and jam
  • K is for kerb and knapweed.
  • L is for Lifter Cloths. 
  • M is for male hop , microbreweries, micro pubs, malt and misty hop picking mornings.
  • N is for November, needle and niche.
  • I is for Inspiration, Instagram and Iron.
  • P is for pockets, poles, press and pokes.
  • Q is for quilt. 
  • R is for return customers, roundel and Rotobank.  
  • S is today’s alphabet letter, so many it’s hard to choose. Scuppett, stencils and swap. The others? a sett, shoots, stringing, strap, screw-pegs, and stilts.
  • T for today’s alphabet is for twiddling stick, trailer, and also twiddling, training and tying. T is for hop Toile fabric which featrues a hop twiddler in action.       
  • U is for unseeded, underground and unicorn.             V is for Varieties, Verandah and Vermin.
  • W is for Wim-Wom, Wellies and Wilderness.
  • X is for ‘X marks the spot’
  • Y is for Yellow Rattle, Yards and Yeast
  • Z the last letter of my hop grower’s alphabet and until the night before last had me flummoxed! Z is for Zenith, Zymotic and the onomatopoeia for sleep 💤 
cooking with beer

Cooking with Beer

A recipe with beer generally pings off the page to catch my eye – In the Sat Telegraph 26th September, Xanthe Clay wrote a feature  in the Food and Drink section called ‘The hungry fresher’s survival guide’ – in it was a cooking with beer recipe for Beer-braised sweet and sticky ribs.   It was exactly as she said easy peasy, sticky and tasty.  In order to try this I strayed from her recipe to use what was to hand,  some small pro chops instead of the ribs and a pale ale instead of lager.  A perfect Saturday evening dish for non students to munch while watching Strictly!

beer sticky pork ribs

Beer-braised sweet and sticky pork ribs.

Serves 4 with rice and salad

2tblsp oil

1.5 Kg/3lbs pork ribs

2 onions

1 can cheap lager (doesn’t matter if it  has been open a day or two)

1 chicken stock cube

1 tsp smoked paprika or chilli sauce  (opitonal)

1/2 mugful of cider vinegar

3 tbsp honey, brown sugar or golden syrup ( I used honey)

Set oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. heat the oil in a big pan and sizzle the pork ribs in it until they are HP sauce brown.  You may need to do this in batches.

Take the ribs our of the pan and keep to one side.  Slice the onions, put them in the pan and cook until they are really floppy.   Pour in the lager and let it boil and bubble while you scrape all the gunk from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.   Add 2 mugfuls of water and a chicken stock cube.  One teaspoon of smoked paprika would be good here too, and/or a shake of chilli sauce.

Return ribs to the pan, and pop it in the oven uncovered for an hour.  Take the pan out of the oven  and stir in the vinegar and honey/sugar/syrup.  Return to the  oven and cook for another half-hour until the ribs are really tender.  If the sauce is still a bit thin, put the pan on the hob again and boil liquid down until it is the consistency of runny ketchup.


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