DUBUISSON'S HOP FIELD
In 2013 Brasserie Dubuisson decided to start producing its own hops.
And thus, a hop field was established in Pipaix, next to the brewery and close to the Trolls & Bush café. This hop field, covering about 1.2 acres, now has 880 plants climbing up 150 poles.
Two varieties of hops are grown:
- Styrian Golding are the majority of the crop. They are an aromatic hop that enriches beers with flowery touches.
- Golden Kent hops grow around the field edges. It’s a more resistant variety that also serves to protect the hop field.
The hop field was established in June 2013 and is expected to be productive for 30 years.
The cultivation of hops
Every year, the hop plants wind their way up, using the steel cables tied between the poles, until harvest time at the end of September. At that time, the hop plants are cut down to the ground and the vines detached from the poles. The flowers, or hop cones, will be separated from the vines using equipment supplied by Luc Lagache, the last hop grower practising his trade in Francophone Belgium.
The hop cones are then transported to England for processing, returning as compressed hop pellets ready for use by the brewery. The next growing season will see the erection of new steel cables for another generation of plants to climb towards the sky once again.
WHY YOUR OWN HOP FIELD ?
This is Hugues Dubuisson’s response to this question, published in the local l’Avenir newspaper in December 2012: “This will allow us to find out more about the particular qualities of the hop plant and we also want to make it clear that we value our local heritage. After all, breweries used to grow their own hops. But let’s start off with small quantities, see how it goes, we don’t want to go too fast too soon…”
Once again, Brasserie Dubuisson highlights its commitment to authenticity with a reinvention of the local brewing traditions that were so close to the hearts of its founders.