Saturday, August 9, 2014

5th Annual Hop Harvest Tour

Cascade hops at sunset
This year, our Hop Harvest Tour promises to be the best ever.  Not only will we have a very informative tour of our hop yard and the process of growing hops, but we will be having samples of beer made from our hops from Hi Wire and Lookout Brewing Companies.  
Pickers in the yard
And for the first time ever, we will have live music provided by Unnamed Suspects.  This should really be fun and educational to boot.

The event starts at 1 pm. and tickets are $12 online at our website , hopnblueberryfarm.com or $15 at the gate.  After the tour ends around 3 pm. visitors are encouraged to visit Hi Wire Brewery in Asheville, or Lookout Brewery located only 3.5 miles from the farm.
Cascade and Nugget hops ready for the Lookout Brewing Co.
What is truly unique about this harvest is that the cones are picked off of the vine and used immediately in the brewing process, all within 8 hours.  This is called a "wet hop" or "fresh hop" beer and offers a taste that is truly aromatic and floral.  Talk about fresh!  And local!


Folks at the tour
Get your tickets early as we will have a limited amount for sale.


Thursday, July 31, 2014

It's That Time---Hop Harvest!

Pickers in the hop yard
We have had a generally good year for production.  Our numbers are up, although still short of expectations compared to out west with just a little over a pound per vine average, some of the cone sizes just have to be admired. Just look below at these cascades.  Of course these are some of the "top picks", those from the top of the vines that receive the most sun, but the rest were easily three fingers long.
These are what I call four finger hops!
This year our first pick went to Hi Wire Brewery in Asheville.  Here they made a 1.5 barrel run of wet hops from our farm.  We picked early in the morning and got the pounds over to the brewery by 12 noon where they were put directly into the boil by Luke Holgate, the head brewer.  

Our next pick went to Lookout Brewing Company here in Black Mountain.  During the morning of the delivery, I had at one time 6 volunteers from around the area, including 3 from Lookout, that came over and made short notice of the harvest time.  We were able to bring in nuggets and cascades to add to their boil within just 2 hours.  A truly fresh "fresh hop" beer.  
Head Lookout Brewer Tanner Frizzell gets a bowl of our hops from Sara Gulotta
One happy moment!
I will tell you that I am really excited about tasting these beers in about three weeks and bringing them to our Hop Harvest Tour event on August 23.  We are going to have a great time at the farm for this years tour with lots of education about the art of growing hops, live music, and of course, samples of the beer that has been made fresh from our hops!  


Stay tuned for more info on this upcoming event and cheers!