B.

Hopping up North

Behind the scenes

Malt is the soul of beer and yeast gives it life but the kiss of the hop is the vitality of that life. Tom Inglis

On a recent trip to Takaka I spotted this magnificent old hop kiln near the Riwaka Hotel, just up the road from Motueka.

Hop Kiln, Riwaka

Hop Kiln, Riwaka

It immediately reminded me of Rita Angus's watercolour Hop Kilns, Motueka. Angus seemingly imbues the hop kiln in her work with church like qualities; the distinctive pointed vent on the roof takes on similar proportions to a small bell tower while the cross of the window under the central gable provides further religious connotations. The hop plant is a rampant beast that grows up and along the supporting wires seen in this photo and also in Angus's watercolour. Not the most prettiest of plants but it produces some of the most sweet smelling flowers that can make all the difference to a pint of beer.

Rita Angus Hop Kiln, Motueka 1941. watercolour. Collection of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū, Harry Courtney Archer estate, 2002

Rita Angus Hop Kiln, Motueka 1941. watercolour. Collection of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū, Harry Courtney Archer estate, 2002

There is an article about this work, originally from The Press