no bine hops?!

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jpoder

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I was in Belgium last fall and was walking through the hop fields behind the Afligem monastery with my local friend. Half of their hops looked like every picture I've ever seen of pre-harvest hop bines, but the other half looked like little bushes (no more than about 18" tall and about 3 feet around) but lots of hop flowers on them. My friend said they never grow the tall vines like the other variety, but didn't know anything else (like what variety they were).

Anyone have any idea what these were? They smelled great, BTW!
 

david_42

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There a couple commercial dwarf hops, but I haven't heard of a shrub-like one. First Gold in the UK and Summit in the US are both a bit larger and are cultivated on low trellises like grape vines.
 
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jpoder

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I found a picture that I took... Affligem Hop Fields

You can see the hop bines growing up in the far background, but the near ones are just sort of mounds (no poles, trellises, etc). Is it possible that these are just young ones that they are allowing to grow along the ground? I don't know a lot about growing hops, but I've never seen anything like that. My friend, who doesn't know anything about beer brewing or hop growing, but knows a lot about beer drinking and Belgium, was convinced that these hops NEVER grow tall like the other ones. According to Brew like a Monk, Affligem uses Hallertau, Spalt, and Styrian Goldings hops. I'm not sure which (if any) of the ones growing on the hillside are used in their beer (it is not actually brewed in the Monastery).
 

Hopfarmer

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Looks to me like that they have not put up the trellis.They are probably waiting till the 2nd or 3rd year
 

growinghops

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I have heard of dwarf hops - they can do almost anything with plants and cross breeding or worse yet GMO (Genetically Modified Organism). These may be first year hops and they are just letting them establish their crowns / root stalks and store energy for the next year. First year hop cone output is probably not financially viable for a for profit operation, so they may be saving the expense and manpower of trellising.
 
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