Hops are fed into Brook House Hops’ new pellet mill
Herefordshire based hop farm, Brook House Hops, has invested more than £100,000 into its facilities on the back of customer feedback and encouragement, purchasing a hop pellet mill.
Launched in 2018, Brook House Hops is an independent hop farm based in the beautiful Herefordshire countryside, growing its own hops on just under 100 acres of fields, as well as sourcing unique strains from around the world.
Selling directly to brewers, Brook House Hops has taken the route of cutting out hop merchants to provide quality, often artisan hop strains, to craft and traditional brewers alike.
Since launch, business has boomed due to the popularity of not just home grown, locally sourced hops, but also the unique aromas that come from those grown in the rich, red, Herefordshire soil.
Brook House Hops was asked by customers to provide pelleted hops alongside its whole leaf offerings. Being a business which prides itself on customer care, it invested in the new pellet mill, which was just installed at its farm in Bromyard, near the Malvern Hill.
Sales manager, Sebastian Nielsen, said: “Our main goal is to serve the needs of brewers, so we are building relationships with them and trading in ways that benefit both parties.
“That means selling hops directly and sourcing interesting and unique varieties, which we can do thanks to our farm relationships across the globe. When customers started asking for our hops in pellet form, we took the decision to seriously consider the request.”
‘Quality is important and we think we have invested in the perfect solution’
Owner Will Kirby added: “The key to the pellet creation process is cooling and making sure the pellets do not reach high temperatures, as this would mean they lose their vitality, flavour and aroma. Brewers want the freshest hops and we wanted a solution which gave us pellets but maintained that Brook House freshness.
“We have achieved that with this investment. The pellets crumble when rubbed in your hand but are not so soft that they can’t withhold storage, handling and transportation activity.
“Our pellets also go straight into a cold store after being nitrogen flushed and vacuum sealed, where they are stored between zero and five centigrade to maintain freshness. Quality is so important to us and we think we have invested in the perfect solution.”
After a week of setting up the equipment and testing the process, the team are now in full production. Pellets are going through industry-leading processing procedures at low temperatures, and then going straight to the cold store.
Sebastian said: “This investment symbolises our commitment to quality. Brewers want high-quality pellets that dissolve properly in their brewing process. This is a state-of-the-art pellet mill and our goal is to make the best pellets on the market.”
In the spirit of collaboration, Brook House Hops intends to send out samples soon to a few select customers who have volunteered to help the company get the consistency spot on. Then it will have them available for sale on its online shop and via its sales team.