Meet the man trying to grow his own beer

When it comes to brewing his own beer, Ben Richards has an ambitious plan: every ingredient he uses must come from his allotment in Devon. So, how’s he getting on with the crops – and is he really going to use rainwater to make beer?

“We all know that beer is made with only four natural ingredients: hops, barley, yeast and water,” says Ben Richards, beer sommelier turned home brewer and allotmenteer. “But I think we take them for granted. Until now, I’ve never really known how much work goes into producing those elements.”

Richards’ plot sits high on a hill, overlooking a valley near his home in east Devon. More familiar with drinking and discussing any of the 12,000 beers now brewed in the UK, his mission now is to discover how you can brew your own beer from scratch, using only what can be harvested, collected or scraped together.

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