Reviewed by Darryl Ryznar
“From sprout to stout”
I have to admit, I’ve always been a bit sceptical of all these ‘grow your own…’ items, I don’t seem to have a ‘green thumb’ as my plants never seem to do that well, and as I only have a small garden I tend to stick to the basics, plant-wise. Anyway, I decided that as my garden was looking a little glum, it would be a great idea to plants something that I could ‘sow’ an interest in (sorry!!). I stumbled across the Firebox ‘Grow Your Own Craft Beer’ box and thought the concept sounded very interesting, and at £9.99 it seemed like a bargain.
My ‘Grow Your Own Craft Beer’ arrived by post only a couple of days after it was ordered. It arrived in a Firebox branded box, so I couldn’t miss it!
Luckily my little ‘Ecocube’ was surrounded by airbag packaging meaning it couldn’t get damaged in transit which was great, an added bonus if you’re sending this as a gift, and even included a little Haribo Tangfastics treat which was a lovely touch. I then popped out my little cube, the cool packaging over all is very on-trend. The Ecocube contains everything you need to grow your own hops for craft beer including a little wooden planter (which will decompose organically once you get to the point of replanting your hops) organic fertiliser, instructions and some seeds.
The handy instructions on the outside of the Ecocube are easy to read and understand, so I set about the hard graft of… putting my Ecocube in the fridge!? Could it really be THAT easy!? Apparently so – according to the website anyway “Your Hop Plant will require a bit of TLC in the first few weeks of growth, after then it’s plain sailing!” Once I wait out the 7 day ‘cooling’ fridge period, I need to then remove the Ecocube from the fridge and place it somewhere bright and warm (my conservatory will be ideal!), peel back the funky beer sticker and water every few days to keep the seeds moist. I should hope to see some hops in about 14 -20 days. After around 6 months I should be able to transfer the plant outside – burying Ecocube and all – perfect timing weather-wise as the summer weather will help the plant growth no end! I’m really looking forward to seeing how this no-fuss gardening kit turns out.
My little Ecocube is now in the fridge, while I enjoy some of its namesake, waiting until the time is right to peel back the sticker and take the next steps in growing my own beer!
Overall, a neat gift idea for the budding gardener or beer fan in your life – something a bit different but has staying power (as long as they remember to give the plants some good old TLC). With Christmas coming up, at only £9.99, it would make a handy stocking filler or Secret Santa gift, I certainly know a few people who would enjoy this little cube!
For more information or to buy visit www.firebox.com.