#hopfarming Archives – PorchDrinking.com
While Oktoberfest style beers and Pumpkin Ales get all the attention as summer turns to fall, true beer fans know what September brings: fresh hop season. Fresh hops or wet hops, depending on who you talk to, are only available for an extremely limited time frame and are usually brewed within a day of being picked. Their distinct flavor and unmistakable aroma are as exciting for brewers as they are for beer fans. But the story doesn’t start with the harvest—it starts years earlier under the care of hops farmers.
With fresh hop season quickly approaching, we chatted with Jake TeSelle, founder of Crooked Yard Hops, to discuss every beer lover’s favorite ingredient: hops.
When talking about American hop production, the Pacific Northwest quickly springs to mind. However, hop farms exist in almost every corner of the country. Their size may be measured in tens, not thousands, of acres, but these growers have an outsized impact with craft brewers on the lookout for local-grown, quality ingredients.
The Big-3 states of hop growing—Washington, Oregon and Idaho—account for nearly 100% of U.S. hop production, according to statista.com. And yet, hops are grown in virtually every state, even as far south as Florida.
Mighty Axe Hops is an 80-acre hop farm located near Foley, Minnesota, roughly a 90-minute drive northwest from Minneapolis. It’s the largest hop farm from Michigan to Idaho and grows 13 varieties of hops.
As a crisp breeze blows in the early morning, it is clear that fall is in air. Although the sun still shines at high noon, the days are ever so slightly shorter and the nights ever so slightly cooler. With the change in season comes not only pumpkin-spiced everything and the return of flannels, but also harvest. One can enjoy that spiced latte at the farmers market while picking up the year’s best produce. However, it is not just gourds and sunflowers in bloom: The start of fall is also hop harvest season.
MillerCoors snatches another craft brewery, abandon lots in Pittsburgh are being turned into hop farms, and Budweiser causes a headache on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. Diversify your thoughts with something other than Olympics news this week. Catch the details of these craft beer news stories and more in this edition of the Weekly Growler Fill.