Has the rising cost of beer got you down? Well, for the true beer-lover and home-brewer there may be an answer: grow your own hops! That’s what food blogger Sourdough Monkey Wrangler is doing in his Oakland, California, front yard. “[S]eeing into the future and anticipating the shortage of some hops for craft brewers,” he explains, “about this time last year, I bought a few hop rhizomes and planted them out front.”

Hops don’t do much their first year, but this spring and summer are proving SMW’s hop experiment a success.

I noticed that what I thought might be the developing cones, must indeed be. From a distance, it looked like the plants had blurry spots on them. I hauled myself up for a closer look and there they were in open flowering mode, fuzzy and hoppy. I went back inside and did a little happy dance feeling totally stoked at the prospect of a future hop harvest.

If you plant some hops now, next year you could be hoisting your own cold one, homegrown and -brewed. If you’re feeling really inspired, you can even plant your own beer garden.

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