When Beer magazine asked me to go and shoot a portrait of Dr Peter Darby, one of the world's foremost authorities on the cultivation and development of new hop varieties, on a hop farm in Kent in February, I was a little apprehensive as I knew it would be cold, probably wet and there would absolutely no hops to shoot him with. Although I was right on all three counts, I needn't have worried as the hop poles and wires made a very effective graphic background and he was kind enough to make us a cup of tea to warm up afterwards. As for the differences between hops of various nations, I'll simply quote Peter:
'English flavour is like a chamber orchestra, the hops giving simultaneously the high notes and the bass notes. In comparison, a Czech beer is more like a full orchestra with much more breadth to the sound, and an American hop gives more of a dance band with more emphasis on volume and brass. The recent New Zealand hops are like adding a voice to the instrumental music.' I couldn't have put it better myself.