Put 'East Coast' and 'Hops' into Google and you will get loads of hits, but all seem to relate to the East Coast of the USA. I was interested to learn more about an article I had recently read about hop growing on the east coast of England, or more specifically in East Yorkshire. I know that sounds impossible but apparently it's true.
Matthew Hall was a home brewer who'd bought a patch of East Yorkshire land that was too good to build on because of the excellent soil quality, so he decided to try his hand at growing hops there. It is still a work in progress having started less than 12 months ago with initial trials growing four variety of hops - Challenger, Goldings, Northdown, and Progress.
The first shoots appeared in April and by July all four were growing well. By harvest time he had had a very successful crop, so successful that the result was brewed as a green hopped beer by Big River brewery of Brough. As a result of the first year trials Matthew has decided to grow Challenger and Progress in the second year with the addition of First Gold and Sovereign.
All we can do is wish him all the best and hope that we may come across his hops in beers for many years to come, and that Yorkshire hops may become as famous as those from Kent and Herefordshire.
(with thanks to Tyke Taverner)