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Growers brew bell pepper beer

You are not a horti grower if you haven't tried the bell pepper beer

"The scent is fresh, slightly sweet fruity bell pepper." Usually, this description would belong to a new bell pepper variety, but that's not the case this time. It's the description of the bell pepper beer Oppepper. Marko Penning, from Bospolder Brewery, reads the description with a smile on a Friday afternoon in the canteen at bell pepper grower John van der Voort's. His bell peppers are in the beer brewed by his neighbors and fellow growers, Marko and André Penning.

That Friday, the beers were brought in large quantities to Honselersdijk. They were stored at Penning Breeding, ready to be distributed to various liquor stores that Saturday. Grower John also had some beer stored in the barn. "I have a beer tasting with friends at the café here in the village tonight," he explains. "I had one condition: that I could bring my own beer this time."

Marko Penning, John van der Voort, and André Penning with the new beer: Oppepper

Grower's Beer
The idea to brew a beer with the neighbors, who have been indulging in their beer brewing hobby for a while, emerged a year ago. During an evening discussing the history of Bospolder, John, whose family business has been in the area for over a hundred years, suggested trying something with bell peppers while enjoying one of Bospolder Brewery's beers.

André and Marko Penning liked the idea. They had previously made beers with horticultural products, including vanilla from Koppert Cress's greenhouse. Marko: "I think seven years ago, we also tried something with bell peppers. Just with a bag of peppers we got from John's stall."

It didn't become a commercial beer at that time. However, a series of other beers followed, some of which we see on a shelf upon entering the canteen at Voort Horticulture, including Grower's Beer. "A light, simple yet flavorful session beer," Marko describes.

Bospolder Brewery has since brought several beers to the market. The assortment is displayed in John's canteen.

"Quite a brilliant interpretation"
Not to be missed in the canteen at the bell pepper grower's is also the traditional crate of Hein, as found in many horticultural canteens. Of course, Bospolder Brewery doesn't brew on the scale of that multinational. In Bospolder, the Penning brothers experiment a lot, on a hobby scale. Recently, including with John. His red bell peppers, of the Alzamora variety, were 'cooked' with the beer, a bell pepper pale ale, André explains.

The growers were not satisfied with the first brew. It also used yellow bell peppers. A second brew followed, with significantly more bell peppers in the beer, specifically bell peppers from Bospolder. André: "Thanks to John, we ultimately used more bell peppers in the beer. It didn't just become a hint, but truly bell pepper beer."

Pepper beers have been brewed before, but bell pepper beer is, as far as the men know, new. André: "It's also really a different flavor." In the first review on the beer platform Untapped, mentioned above, the brew received a lot of enthusiasm.

"Quite a brilliant interpretation for the concept 'bell pepper beer'. Hazy amber gold, a fine layer of white foam (though I swear I see a hint of red)," Marko reads. And to finish the review: "Flavor is bell pepper, vegetal, earthy, and spicy. Round and soft mouthfeel."

Promotion Campaign
The growers themselves are pleased with the new beer, named Oppepper, an idea from John's daughter. "The reception is good, but that's always a bit exciting."

The media attention for the new beer and the brewers is also exciting. During a small photo session with the first large box of Oppepper beer in the greenhouse, Kris, who was processing the peppers in the barn that Friday afternoon, quickly joins in. He takes a photo, while his employer John, along with André and Marko, pose for another photo. The brewing brothers this time in an orange t-shirt. They laugh: "With all these photo sessions, we can't wear the same t-shirt every time, of course."

By now, the bell pepper beer Oppepper is available at several liquor stores and can also be ordered in the webshop. The introduction of the beer is also linked to a challenge on social media: who drinks the beer out of a cut-open bell pepper? The winner can look forward to a 12-pack of Oppepper beers.

John will take the beers to the Oxin Experience next month. There, his cooperative colleagues can taste the beer. And if it then runs out? Then there might just be a second batch, if the positive reception continues and Bospolder Brewery can find a slot at the brewery in Fijnaart where they can brew in large volumes.

There's no shortage of bell peppers for the time being, John emphasizes, who is in the midst of a production boom at the end of May. "I have bell peppers from the end of March until the beginning of November." There's time for a beer on Friday evening, though. Cheers!

For more information:
Bospolder Brewery
[email protected]

Voort Horticulture
[email protected]

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