PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — The Philadelphia Brewing Company’s hop garden is in shambles after the city called in a team of weedkillers to knock down more than six months of hard work.
“Between yesterday was sad,” said Nancy Barton, co-owner of the brewery. “You can walk through any neighborhood in this city and there’s a million lots that’s overgrown and trashed or whatever. We have a sign that says what we’re doing.”
The garden is fenced right next to the Kensington Brewery and has a sign that clearly explains how they grow hops for their fall beer called “Harvest from the Hood”.
Barton says the city issued an invasive vegetation violation and brought in an inspector to verify that it was indeed a garden they were maintaining.
“He came back and said, ‘I get it. I see what happened, the violation is closed. No fine. Case closed and you’re good,'” Barton recalled.
However, the city’s Community Improvement Program returned on Tuesday and removed nearly all of the hops.
A city spokesperson released a statement saying “Unfortunately, due to miscommunication and staff error, the hops were removed as they were originally marked as a violation as it appeared the field was overgrown.”
“It’s quite sad because they looked healthy this year,” said brewery worker Chris Pickwell.
Now, customers will have to wait until next year for their limited release of “Harvest from the Hood” lager.
“It was my favorite beer, so I’m sad it’s not coming back this year,” Pickwell said.
Barton says it will cost them tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenue.
The city also says it is investigating ways to remedy this situation and is engaging with field staff to ensure proper procedures are followed in the future.
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