2020 has been a hard year for everyone, including the hops on our hop farm. This year marked the 7th edition of our Locavore Project a celebration of the Wicklow Wolf Hop farm, our brewery, terroir of Wicklow and sustainability.
The goal of our Locavore project is simple, to celebrate and champion local and the terroir of Wicklow that is imparted on the hops grown on our hop farm. This is the same goal that we had when Simon planted the first hop plant back in 2013 and the same goal that the roots of Wicklow Wolf where planted on – ‘Exceptional beer in a sustainable way’.
Last year (2019), we undertook an ambitious goal to plant 1 native Irish tree for every 3 cans of Locavore sold. This totalled 1,000 native Irish trees; Irish Oak, Silver Birch, Alder, Hazel, Larch, Scots Pine and Whitethorn being planted on our Hop Farm, making the number of native Irish trees that we have planted at 2,000. 1,000 trees planted to help offset the carbon footprint of Locavore 2019. This year we wanted to go one bigger.. We were going to make Irelands’ first carbon neutral beer.
The harvest did not yield as much as previous years due to the very challenging weather conditions that 2020 had in store for us in Wicklow. Simon was also under pressure on the farm due to COVID restrictions limiting the man power needed for such a labour intensive crop. Speaking about his love for the Hop farm and the Wicklow Landscape Simon noted; “I have the amazing pleasure and privilege of working in an area of outstanding beauty and taking my fill of the sights, sounds and smells of the natural world in Roundwood. I am so lucky… until I’m cold and soaked to the skin!”
We used Irish barley from the Malting Company of Ireland, Athgarrett malt and the Craftsman Malt. We used Wicklow mountain water. We used our own Wicklow Wolf hops. We used our own renewable electricity. The result – a delicious, dry Irish stout, that celebrates and champions local and sustainability.
By making a Carbon Neutral beer we wanted to give our customers a chance to drink a fantastic dry Irish stout in the knowledge that it was produced in the most sustainable way possible. A guilt free drinking experience if you will. In order to achieve this we teamed up with Clara Carbon. We set out and ensured that this beer was 100% Carbon Neutral by working with Clara Carbon and the Irish Woodland Trust.
Clara Carbon utilise an app that tells you the carbon footprint of your purchases and gives you the ability to offset them against certified carbon reducing projects. Not only did we strive to brew Ireland’s first carbon neutral beer, with the help of Clara Carbon, we made a beer with the potential to be carbon negative.
You simply scan the QR code on your can of Locavore 2020 to further offset the carbon footprint of your beer.
We understand the importance of limiting our carbon footprint and would want you to join us on our sustainability adventure and need your help in making as many Locavore 2020 carbon negative.
We hope you enjoy this year’s Locavore as much as me had fun growing and brewing it.
Simon, Quincey and all the Wicklow Wolf Pack