Fairview Homestead | Hopping along the Hop Route
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Hopping along the Hop Route

The following article appeared in Tourism News.

“Beer is made of barley and hops. But why is a hop called a hop? No-one on the Hop Route in George was able to tell me, and even a dictionary of etymology (the history of words, Miranda) was tantalisingly vague. Seeing that hops were first grown about a thousand years ago in the area of Europe now called Bavaria, it is likely that it comes from a Teutonic word ‘hoop’ (heap) which indicates the way in which hops were left to dry.

Etymology aside, hops are what makes beer beer. Any beer without hops is a mere ale. Hops are what gives beer its distinctive bitter taste as well as acting as a preservative. South African Breweries is the second-largest beer manufacturer in the world, and beer is the third-most consumed beverage of all. So we are talking a lot of beer indeed. And the hops for all the beer brewed in the whole of Africa is grown around George, that unassuming little town on the Garden Route.

George is the only area in Africa where hops are grown. The hop fields stretch out inland of the town, along the mountain pass country of the Outeniqua Pass and the Montagu Pass, protected from sea winds by the Outeniqua Mountains.”

Philda Benkenstein

In 1995 we moved from Namibia to a town called George on the Garden Route in South Africa - we found a wonderful property,first registered in 1861. The place was very neglected, but I undertook to start a guest house, so that the house could at least pay for its own upkeep after the restoration, and of course - for Desmond's garden. That is the start of my life as a guest house owner and this is the story of a house and garden,lovingly restored and shared with our guests, with family and friends...

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