TWO years ago, Matthew Hall was a waiter in Hull with the seed of an idea.
This week he will look on proudly as thousands of people in York enjoy his first harvest, his hopes having grown into hops.
At Knavesmire tomorrow, drinkers will gather to enjoy some of Yorkshire’s first entirely home-grown beers, thanks to Mr Hall’s new hop plantation in East Yorkshire.
Yorkshire Hops, set up by Mr Hall and Ellerker farmer Chris Bradley, is Britain’s most northerly hop plantation and the first commercial one in Yorkshire.
The fruits of his first harvest will be enjoyed at York Beer and Cider Festival from tomorrow to Saturday, having been used by local breweries including Brass Castle in Pocklington and Big River in Brough.
“It has been a better harvest than we could have expected, said Mr Hall.
“So far we have been getting good feedback from the brewers about the aromas of the hops. It’s a real relief that all the hard work has paid off.”
Earlier this year, The Press reported on the creation of the plantation, which covers two-and-a-half acres and included 3,600 plants, but which will soon be doubled in size. It should ultimately produce enough hops for half a million pints of beer a year, allowing brewers to produce entirely Yorkshire-grown beers for the first time, adding local hops to the existing Yorkshire malt and water.
Trebom Brewery, at Shipton-by-Beningbrough, has also produced beer for the festival using a hops from plants grown on their own site.
• York Beer and Cider Festival runs from tomorrow until Saturday on Knavesmire.