Happiness over at the ventnor botanic garden

Isle of Wight Council’s Ventnor Botanic Garden is leading an initiative to bring hops growing back to the Island.

The famous attraction has teamed up with local brewery Goddards to produce a bitter called ‘Hoppiness’ that will go on sale in late September.

The Isle of Wight used to be Britain’s fifth-largest grower of hops until production slowed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and today there are no commercial producers of hops on the Island.

Hops that will be used in making the beer are currently being grown at Ventnor Botanic Garden under licence. The project is also contributing to the garden’s role of educating visitors about the importance plants play in our everyday lives.

Many local ingredients will also be used to produce the bitter, helping support Island producers under a project called Green Food Miles.

Simon Goodenough, Curator at Ventnor Botanic Garden, says the attraction instigated this initiative to produce an exclusive beer made largely from Island ingredients. He said “When you buy a pint of bitter in a pub, for example, you probably don’t realise how many of the ingredients have to be imported from much further afield, this is obviously not environmentally friendly.

“We are keen to support a scheme to highlight the importance of hop growing and bring the tradition back to the Isle of Wight because we used to be one of the main areas in the UK for its production.

“We are very happy that Goddards Brewery wish to be involved in this seasonal project and thank them for working with us”

George Brown, Isle of Wight Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for the Economy supports the scheme enthusiastically. said “Any further means of reducing the national carbon footprint by not carrying ingredients across the Solent must be welcomed.

“This initiative not only increases Isle of Wight production, using local ingredients but also ensures that money is earned in the local shops and gardens that supply ‘Hoppiness’. I hope that every visitor to our beautiful Island will sample and enjoy this sun-drenched Island beer”

It is envisioned that ‘Hoppiness’ will only be available for a short time at a selected number of outlets on the Island after the launch weekend, which is scheduled for the last weekend of September at Ventnor Botanic Garden.