Homebrewing Hops. Grown in Wales
I started the Dark Farm project in 2014. My ambition was to create something exciting, combining my love for the outdoors with my love of tech. It was only until reading an article about another love of mine, craft beer, which mentioned the decline in UK hop farms over the years that the idea of growing hops clicked into place. It seemed crazy that we’re importing so many hops when the UK has traditionally been a great place to grow them.
From Computer Geek to Hop Farmer
I started looking for some land to rent, but Mother Nature’s growing season waits for no man – land or not. So I started experimenting by growing a few hops hydroponically using dark grow tents (Dark Farm – get it?) in our not-overly-large apartment. (I have a very understanding wife…)
Happily, about a year later, we found 2 acres of land where we are now 5 miles from the coast in South Devon. And so, in the spring of 2017, we planted our first 250 hop rhizomes. YES! We’ve now move our operation to Wales, increased our hop yard and now grow 100% of our hops hydroponically.
We’re currently developing our hops using three different methods: grown in the ground (the good ol’ fashioned way), hydroponically indoors and hydroponically outdoors. Introducing automation into farming, organic growing and supporting our local community will always stand as our guiding values.
It’s a massive learning curve for someone like me who has spent the last 20 years of town dwelling working in front of computer with not even a window box to brag about! And our choice to use organic growing methods certainly adds a few extra challenges. We still have a long way to ago to achieve Dark Farm’s full potential but we are, without doubt, on the right path.
Getting Our Kegs On
Selling our kegs was almost a happy accident. We were getting such great feedback from the equipment we were using for our own homebrews that we decided to make them available to everyone.
The mini kegs have certainly helped us up our brewing game. Though to be honest, I think we get a bit of extra cred for our brewing skills simply because our brew is served from such a sexy bit of kit! But let’s keep that between us, eh?
Beer Unites People!
Our kick-ass customers make all the hard work, risk and sacrifice worthwhile. The homebrewing community is such an awesome source of inspiration and support and we love being tapped into such an amazing group of people.
We would love to hear from like minded folk who would like to support and get involved in the project in anyway. Collaborations or general beery chat most welcome. You know where to find us!
We still have a long way to ago to achieve Dark Farm’s full potential but we are on the right path. We would love to hear from people that would like to support and get involved in the project.
ASK A QUESTION, HAVE A CHAT
2 Ninant Ress, Pencader. SA39 9DU
T: +44 (0)1392 58 0700