06 April 2012

Hoppy April!

The Mosher family loves to grow things, and we love to drink beer.  It is no surprise that last year we finally started growing our own hops to use in homebrewing.  The ground here at Brittany Hollow certainly seems to agree with the hops we planted.  Typically, hops (a perennial) do not produce very many flowers the first year.  The flowers are what we use in our brewing to impart bitterness, flavor, and aroma depending on the brew.  Our hops had a great first year and we were able to harvest a few bushels of flowers to dry and brew with.  Last week, we spent an afternoon cleaning up and expanding our hop yard.  
One of our Cascade variety hop plants.  
 Hops love to climb, and will grow up to 15 feet or more here in NY.  In the hop yard, we connected a series of poles by stretching a wire tightly across the top.  As the hops get a bit larger, we will train them to climb by tying down a coarse twine from a stake near the plant up to the cross-wire.
Darryl and Ross stretching a wire across the garden.  In a few months, there will be hops everywhere!

Darryl trimming away the dead growth from last year to make way for this year's growth.

Ross enjoying some of our homebrewed IPA.
New York State has a great history of hop growing, and was even the largest hop producer in the United States at one time.  After a few bad years in the early 1900s of being plagued by blight and pests, the hop growing industry in our state fizzled.  Perhaps with today's agricultural technology hops can be successfully grown here again!

While the Mosher Brewing Co. may still be a far-off dream, I think that growing our own hops is a step in the right direction.  Another step in the right direction would be to win the lottery.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice blog. I'm excited about the NY hops industry.