As the clock struck midnight on 31st December most people chose an obvious New Years’ Resolution – stop smoking, lose weight, exercise more – but Beer Sommelier Ben Richards wanted a real challenge for 2017. Which is why he’s growing beer on his 8x8metre allotment in Devon.
We've partnered with Ben on his one-of-a-kind experiment to see if it’s possible to grow or collect everything he needs to brew beer in one, small allotment. And we're not alone, every step of the way Ben will draw on the help and advice of experts in their field as he tackles the highs and lows of his quest.
Traditionally, the ingredients for brewing beer would be harvested and gathered from all over the country – if not worldwide - so Ben’s going to have to be on his toes if his ambition is to become a reality. “I’m working with 8m by 8m of rough, unloved land and one major rule: all of the ingredients must be grown or collected on site” continued Richards. “This means preparing the land, growing or gathering and then harvesting all the ingredients before the final brew."
After starting to dig up his allotment, Ben Richards explained “As a Beer Sommelier I know about the versatility of beer and diverse range of styles but few of us, including me, realise just how much effort and how many people are involved in getting that beer into the glass, bottle or can.”
If he’s to stick to his schedule and meet the timescale that he’s set himself, Ben needs to achieve the best growing conditions as quickly as possible to get everything up and running. He’ll then have to juggle everything he knows about brewing with everything he doesn’t know about horticulture, microbiology, agriculture and perseverance so that he can round off the project with a party to sample the beer he’s produced in the Autumn.
Keep checking back to follow his progress, or check our www.growingbeer.co.uk or on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram /growingbeer