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!

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