Three bits of hop-related info to pass along:
On Friday, 2/18, Home Brew manager Scott Russell and asst. manager Rick Scully attended the Second Annual Winter Hops Conference, organized by the UVM Extension Service, at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe. The conference featured speakers discussing breeding and cultivating hops, hopyard and trellis construction, and the history of hop growing in Vermont, as well as a panel of Vermont’s commercial brewers talking about how locally grown hops might impact the brewing scene in Vermont. Naturally, we sampled the Trapp Lodge Brewery’s outstanding Austrian and German-style lagers after the conference… and found them to be excellent.
As part of the conference, the Market became a member of the Northeast Hop Alliance, an organization dedicated to bringing back commercial hop production in the region. While we are not a voting member (only actual hop growers, with 100 plantings or more, are allowed to vote) we will be able to access workshops, information and perhaps some equipment and materials as members. For more info about this organization, visit their website.
In just a couple weeks, I will be ordering hop rhizomes again. Last year we sold nearly 120 rhizomes to local brewers and hop enthusiasts – if you are certain you would like to plant hops this year, feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let me know how many you intend to plant, and what varieties you would prefer, if you know. I can’t guarantee anything as far as quantity or variety, but I will do my best. I expect they will run about $6 per rhizome this year.