Regenerative agriculture is at the core of the Ryefield Hops farming practice. So it made sense when they were asked to be included in the new Stone and Wood & Sure Studios documentary RE_GENERATION, tackling the question - Can drinking beer save the planet?
The Bemboka hops farm featured heavily in the 40-minute film, and the founders got to debut it to a passionate audience at an exclusive screening and Q & A session at Candelo General Store and Café.
Guests enjoyed dinner and desserts, and were treated to a special release 'Regenerative Ale', created by Stone and Wood and made with the hops from Ryefield Hops' 2022 harvest.
The film highlighted the trailblazers of the industry, such as Ryefield Hops co-founder Morgan Taylor, who is rethinking farming practices to make sure future generations won't be left behind.
"Say when my kids grow up, if I just rob this land it's not gonna be much for them is it?" Morgan said.
From the compostable twine used in training the bines, to the neighbour's sheep keeping the weeds down between the rows of plants, Ryefield Hops has made regeneration its mission.
Co-founder Jade McManus said that they are trying to work with nature and not against it; an ethos that the documentary emphasised throughout, as it showed the stark differences between industrial and regenerative agriculture.
"The doco is a great education tool for the consumer. A lot of the time the consumer doesn't know what goes in to making a beer," they said.
Doing their bit to address the climate crisis, the film creator Jake Toohey said that Ryefield Hops was able to suck 100 tonnes of CO2 from the sky per year, with help from cover crops such as radishes which also helped to keep the soil healthy.
In recent weeks the crew had been training the plants and keeping the weeds down as the growing season kicks into gear, before they begin the harvest early next year.
In a first for the farm, the hops will now be able to reach more customers, thanks to a newly purchased pelletiser that processes the hops into pellets after harvest.
"We've got a full field this season, which is 12 acres so we're working hard to get the plants to grow and produce so we can put them into pellets and start selling some more," Jade said.
After success last year, Ryefield Hops farm tours will also make a return this Summer, giving people a chance to see all aspects of the harvesting process and taste some of the finished product.
"We've got our hops in a lot of other beers, but for us we've done two of our beers this season. They're brewed up in Milton - a hazy pale ale using fresh hops and a brand new lager."
The documentary can be watched via signup at the Stone and Wood website.
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