Last night, we attended the American Craft Beer Fest at the Seaport World Trade Center, co-produced by the folks at Harpoon Brewery and Beer Advocate. We met several local brewers, including Rob at Peak Brewery, Gwen at Berkshire Brewing Company and her brother Dave over at Gardner Ale House. We also chatted with the folks at Pioneer, Mayflower and Wachusett. And were entertained by the fellow pulling Wormtown Brews (the Blonde Cougar is excellent and very interesting). We tasted a little from each brewery, making notes about what would taste nice with each brew.
We also chatted about local availability of hops. They are in short supply. And not just locally, but everywhere and for just about everyone, including home-brewers. But we knew that, and that’s why we went to the Fest. Just about everyone we were able to speak with confirmed what we suspected, which is that we would have a market for whatever we are able to produce. Quality local hops, grown holistically (organic goes without saying), are in demand. We heard that the folks at Four Star Farms in Northfield are expanding their hop yard to twice its size.
Planning for hops yards has already started at our kitchen table. All that we need now are the funds and some more man-power to raise the poles and get the plants in the ground.
In the meantime, we’re looking forward to visiting the L’Etoile family at Four Star Farms, and the breweries we talked to last night. Cheers!