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    News / Foamy Stories

    Foamy Stories
    About Polish hops with traditions

    Hops are the soul of beer, and most of our beers have a Polish soul.

    Published on 25.06.2022
    READ THE STORY

    The picturesque surroundings of Kazimierz Dolny by the Vistula River is the place where 70 percent of the national aromatic hop crops is located. The unique mild microclimate ensures perfect conditions for the plants. In the Wilków commune, Poland’s hop centre, Józef Śpiewak has his plantation.

    His farm is one of the ones delivering the hops we use to brew our beers. Over two sunny September days, we followed Mr. Józef and his family during the harvest.

    Harvest with short sleep breaks

    On plantations, hops are planted in even rows, every 3 metres, and the shoots ramble up, always right, along about a 7-metre-high construction. They grow at a dizzying pace – even 2.2 mm in 5 minutes!

    Hop cones are mature and ready, when they change their colour from bright green to brown and begin to open up. Crushed between the fingers, they leave an aromatic resin.

    Hops have to be harvested quickly and efficiently, before the cones become over-mature.

    It’s hard work with short sleep breaks. Aromatic cascades of sun-bathed hop cones land in a combine harvester.

    Ready cones start their journey from the plantation to beer. The first stop is Mr. Józef’s farm.

    Multigenerational passion for hops

    In the region of Lubelszczyzna, the love for hops is often inherited. Just as in Mr. Józef’s family. His father and grandfather were both in the hop business.

    Mr. Józef’s son, Mateusz, continues the family tradition.

    All day long, their tractor transports a few meters long hop shoots to the farm, where they immediately end up in the combine harvester, which detaches the cones. Then, one after another, they land in a container.

    “The hops harvested from the plantation dry up in the drying room, at the temperature of 58-63°C. Then, they are granulated.”

    Mr. Józef

    Farm Owner

    Harvest with short sleep breaks

    The hops harvested from the plantation dry up in the drying room, at the temperature of 58-63°C. Then, they are granulated.

    This process doesn’t affect the quality of hops, but it makes it easier to store and transport them.

    Currently, in the brewing industry, hops are used in the form of granulate or extract. Granulated cones are delivered to the brewery, where they become a spice for our beers.

    The Lublin hops “don’t escape from beer”.

    Cultivating hops requires great passion and dedication, as it is very demanding.

    Full crops are only harvested after two, three years. The weather needs to be favourable too. Interestingly, only female plants are cultivated for brewing purposes, because only they produce flowers referred to as cones. In Poland, farmers grow a dozen or so different types of bittering hops, including Marynka, Magnum, Zbyszko. The Lublin hops are an especially aromatic type – the pride of the Polish hop growing business.

    Mr. Józef claims that the Lublin hops “don’t escape from beer”.