It’s all about the Hops and Glory


We’re looking forward to hearing from author, chef and broadcaster, Richard Fox when he takes to the stage at the Farm Shop & Deli Show next week. You can catch Richard’s session on Monday 18th April at the NEC Birmingham. If you haven’t already registered this is the link you need to get your badge Ahead of his talk next week, Richard shares some insight into what he’ll be talking about at the show in this blog.

Richard will be joined on stage by Heather Copley, from award winning farm shop and deli: Farmer Copleys to explore how the current trend can be embraced and capitalized upon in the farm shop retail sector. The duo will keep things literally flowing with a tasting of craft beers and generic food items to match. It’s one not to be missed.

Remember when beer on the dinner party shopping list was the token four-pack to satisfy the questionable thirst of an elderly relative or the dubious habit of a wayward cousin? How times change. Now, a selection of ale in your shopping is more likely to reveal you as progressive and cultured; metro-sexual and enlightened, or just downright cool rather than the philistine lager lout of old. So what happened to make us pause over the Pinot, and how should we be cashing in on this remarkable phenomenon?

It’s actually makes perfect sense. We’ve become taste driven in our search for good old fashioned flavour from our produce – and we want a good story behind it. Hence the burgeoning farm shop and deli industry. Well naturally, it’s not going to take long to start applying the same values to what we pour into our glasses. And make no mistake; this is great news for the artisan retailer. This sea change in consumer habit is all about craft beer revolution. In the last few years we've gone hopping mad for top tasting ale - and lager. Once considered ale's uncouth relation, lager has had a major makeover. The very term - larger- means 'to store' in German, and it's that conditioning time that gives it flavour.

For the big multinational Brewers, time is money and so the lagering time is reduced at the expense of flavour. The good news is, the new craft brewers on the block, don't give two hoots about industrial processes. They just want everyone to enjoy good old fashioned flavour.

So, if your local Pilsner style lager can offer a bittering counterbalance to the sweet caramelisation of your perfect your perfectly seared steak, then in the words of another culinary revolutionary, 'happy days'. Or maybe you'd prefer that double drop stout with the dark chocolatey notes to set off the snap of burnt sugar over your brûlée. The point is, get tasting, write tasting notes and start getting your customers drooling over the idea of matching your local, artisan produce with beers that embrace the same values, and everyone's a winner.