Gothenburg Botanical Garden
The winding history of hops.
Hops have a long history as a useful plant with many valuable characteristics. They have been used medicinally and in textiles with their long, strong fibres, but chiefly as a vital ingredient in beer. As the interest in Sweden has increased for beer brewing, so the popularity of hops has grown, since it is hops that give beer its bitterness, flavour and freshness.
Gothenburg is a genuine beer city. It was previously a centre for many large breweries and today small micro-breweries are popping up here and there at a great rate. This year, Gothenburg’s 400th jubilee year, we find it suitable to celebrate the creepy history of hops.
Since we are a botanical garden, we have chosen to focus on a botanical view of the plant. Its cultural history and how it is cultivated are in focus.
Outside Stolpboden, we have designed a hops farm to display different historical varieties of hops, above all those preserved by the POM Programme for cultivated diversity. All these Swedish clones have been collected att farms and smallholdings all round Sweden.
A Gothenburg journalist, Kristian Wedel, has contributed to this exhibition with the story of Gothenburg as the beer capital of Sweden.