CHEK Upside: Hop harvest building community on Pender Island

WatchPender Island's Hope Bay Hop Farm harvest provides thousands of hops for Hoyne Brewing Company's Wolf Vine Wet Hopped Pale Ale and brings the Pender Island community together.

It’s a harvest like no other. Each September, Pender Island’s Hope Bay Hop Farm is invaded by hop-pickers, ready to create the ultimate seasonal beer.

“I struck up a bit of friendship with a gentleman by the name of Richard Piskor,” says Hoyne Brewing Company owner Sean Hoyne.

“He owns some property over on Pender Island. He was wondering what to do with that property and we came up with the idea of growing hops.”

So Piskor obliged and partnered with the brewery to grow hops for a seasonal beer.

“It’s made with whole freshly picked hops, it has quite a unique flavour that comes from what the crop is like that year and the crop changes from year to year just because of the nature,” says Piskor.

It’s a perfect pairing, the freshly picked cones are turned into Hoyne’s Wolf Vine Wet Hopped Pale Ale.

“We go along and we pick all of these beautiful hops off of the vines and then we rush them back to the brewery and use them in our batch of Wolf Vine the very next day,” says Hoyne. “That is as fresh as you can get hops into beer.”

The annual harvest brings the community on Pender Island together, while staying six feet apart.

“The community on Pender Island is absolutely amazing, they’re just a bunch of great people,” says Hoyne.

“All of the picking was done with masks and gloves and people very much respected the COVID protocol.”

“It’s a very enjoyable experience! We come, we pick, we laugh, we listen to music, Hoyne provides us with some great beer and it makes for just a tremendous day,” says Piskor.

The hops from Hope Bay are currently fermenting, with the beer available for purchase in early October.

Cole SorensonCole Sorenson

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