Now Wise Brides as you will know, or have no doubt discovered on your journey thus far, one of the major considerations in terms of allocated your budget will be to the flowers. Between the bouquets and the decor, covering large areas can be a very costly affair. One thing i discovered in my own wedding planning journey was the wonderful Huskins Hops who, not only as a family run and independent business, were so knowledgeable and had such great ideas they have of course been added to our recommended supplier list! Read the below from Manager Glenn for further insight into how and why the use of hops are increasing in popularity amidst the wedding community......
WB: What is a hop?
HH: Hops are the flowers of the hop plant, used primarily as an ingredient in the process of beer making enhancing the flavour, aroma and stability of the product.
WB: Where do they come from?
HH: Hops used in England were imported from France, Holland and Germany but it was not until 1524 that hops were first grown here in the Kent when they were introduced as an agricultural crop by Dutch farmers.
WB: Are there different varieties of hops?
HH: There are over 80 different varieties of hop. And with development of new varieties, which are more productive, pest and disease resistant and have improved flavour qualities are ongoing, who knows what the future holds
WB: Are they seasonal?
HH: Like most plants hops are seasonal, starting in the spring and harvested in the late summer, although preparation goes on throughout the year starting straight after the harvest.
WB: Can you explain the difference between dried and fresh hops and the process in making them?
HH: The fresh hops are cut and sent directly form the hop garden and arrive vibrantly green and fresh within 24 hours. The dried products are brick kiln dried leaving a sage green finish for a more traditional aesthetic.
WB: What do they smell like?
HH: All the different varieties of hops have their own distinct aromas. English hops are known to have more of a subtle, spicy, cedar aromas. Whereas American hops have more floral, citrus Tropical aromas.
WB: Are they cost effective?
HH: They are the most cost effective Wedding solution for covering larger areas such as pillars and arches.
WB: Why do you think there has been an increase in demand for hops as a more decorative item?
HH: They fit a fashion for rustic, seasonal styled weddings using local produce.
WB: Are they easy to install?
HH: Fresh hops are cut and boxed straight from the field then immediately sent on a 24 hour courier to ensure they get to you as fresh as possible.
When the hop arrives take it out of the box and lay it out on a clean surface removing any fallen or unwanted leaf or stem length. Then hang immediately in a position clear of disturbance. They are a versatile product and can easily be wrapped around beams or columns. The hop will dry in situ so do not leave it unhung for long and never leave it in the box once it arrives.
Dried hops are kiln dried before being boxed and sent out to you on your preferred delivery day. When the Dried Hop arrives carefully take it out of the box and lay it out on a clean surface removing any fallen or unwanted leaf or stem length. Then hang immediately in a position clear of disturbance
The hop stems are relatively strong, nails hooks and wire can all be used for hanging. Use dust sheets to avoid a lengthy clean up and any stain from hop flower pollen!
WB: How long do they last?
HH: Both will stay green for up to 1 year, they will slowly turn a golden brown under lights.
WB: How did you get into the business?
HH: I left my job in London 4 years ago to come back to Kent and take over the family business which has been growing hops on the farm for over 150 years.
WB: Can you highlight some of the benefits of using hops for decorating a wedding?
HH: The average length of a hop garland is 2.5-3 meters long making it ideal to cover large vacant spaces with a vibrant green colour. Also flowers make the perfect addition to the bine, allowing the customer to make the perfect arrangement.
Hung on beams and wrapped round them are the most popular ways to display your hop garlands. We’ve also seen them placed above fireplaces (as far away from the fire as possible though) and draped round chandeliers, but it’s up to the customer, be creative and use your surroundings.
For any tips, just visit our website www.hukins-hops.co.uk