Taking your home brew to the next level…

Satisfying though it can be to brew your own beer using a kit – what about taking things further still and growing an ingredient for your chosen brew?

Hops are the most logical candidate. They are the cone-shaped flowers from the female hop plant, known as climbing bine. Believed to have been used in beer production since the 11th century, they are added to beer to give bitterness, aroma and flavour.

A single hop plant can yield enough hops to flavour 20-40 gallons of beer. While the SAB Hop Farms team in South Africa cultivate hops over many acres, anyone can have success growing hop plants in pots on a terrace, or in some other sunny outdoor space.

The essential requirement is vertical space, as hops grow upwards – at least eight feet for dwarf varieties and to around 20 feet for commercial ones – so you will need space to erect a pole, garden canes or strings for them to climb.

Here’s five simple steps to growing your own hops...

Learn how to grow your own hops