Yesterday was day 1 of a new venture that I am excited to be a part of. At the start of the new year, I was asked to join two land owners north of Redmond in planning a hop farm. ‘Hops’ as in ‘Beer’. ‘Beer’ as in ‘Awesome’.
This began as a casual conversation about the current hop market; where it has been and where it is (potentially) going. And of course, you can’t discuss the hop market without including the craft beer market…which is something I study daily.
I gave them general information on growing regions in the pacific northwest, advice on the very basics of hop growing in your backyard, planting, harvesting, and packaging, and finally…the use of hops during brewing and fermentation. Very quickly, I ran out of facts, figures, and advice, but the owners/investors didn’t seem to flinch. They apparently have had their hands in the soil over in the Willamette Valley for years, so this process didn’t initially seem so daunting.
As soon as I got home, I received a Facebook message from Ryan Sharp letting me know I could borrow his copy of Stan Hieronymus’ book ‘For the Love of Hops‘. I dived right in, soaking up as much information as the book had to offer. This was the beginning of something potentially exciting and I was going to give it all I had.