It is 25 years since Dr Burgess wrote his invaluable book on hops and in the intervening period there have been very many advances in hop research and hop production techniques. When invited to produce a replacement for that book, therefore, the problem was not finding enough new material but deciding on what to include. People interested in reading about the hop are likely to fall into very diverse categories. Hop growers will be looking for practical advice on production methods while research workers with specialist knowledge in one field may want detailed information about research in other disciplines. In addition, there are many people for whom hops are of much more general interest and for them a source of basic information about the crop will be required. The aim has not been to produce a detailed growers' handbook, since techniques vary considerably from district to district and I believe that it is better to obtain advice from neighbouring growers or from specialist advisers than from any book. What I have attempted is to outline the basic principles upon which production methods should be based. At the same time, I have tried to include material that will be of general interest both to those who work with hops and to those to whom they might otherwise remain a complete mystery. In doing this my own personal interests have inevitably played an important part.

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