Joris Cambie and Kris Langouche have a story to tell, or rather, a bunch of stories woven together about how their lives intersected 11 years ago to the creation of De Plukker brewery on Cambie’s hop farm just outside Poperinge, Belgium.
Langouche is the brewer, while Cambie is the hop farmer. Together they have forged a dream together. Cambie always wanted a brewery on his hop farm but never could find the time to do both. Langouche was a brewer looking to run his own brewery.
The two met each other through Poperinge’s beer club and started De Plukker, taking advantage of the hops Cambie grows on his farm. Earlier in 2022 they opened a bar in Poperinge opposite the Hops Museum featuring De Plukker beers.
De Plukker produces about 850 hl a year. The 15 hectare farm produces about 25 tonnes of organic hops a year, of which half is sold outside of Belgium. His is one of 17 hop growers left in Poperinge, the last of a once bigger industry in Belgium.
Cambie, who is president of the Belgian hops growers association, estimates that there are still 180 hectares of farming land still producing hops in Belgium, mostly centred in Poperinge, but with a few farmers elsewhere.