The Hops of The Hop~N~Blueberry Farm
The Hop'n Blueberry Farm became the second farm to produce hops commercially in North Carolina in 2008. Since then we have gained recognition as the premiere site for research in the Southeast. We have worked closely with North Carolina State University for four years providing statistical information to crop scientist who are trying to make hops a viable and alternative crop for the state. We are also working with Appalachian State University and AB Technical College providing samples for analysis and growing information.
Because of the recent boom in beer production in the Asheville, North Carolina area, we have seen an increased level of interest in growing hops. Van teaches the art of growing hops from the ground up in conjunction with workshops at AB Tech, and at his farm. One of his most successful programs involves first hand working knowledge with hop plants at the farm. In exchange for labor in the hop yard, learning volunteers get their hands dirty and find out everything there is to know about growing hops.
Our work with hops over the years has gotten state and nationwide recognition. The farm has been mentioned in just about every major newspaper in North Carolina and even in the Wall Street Journal. We have been featured on UNC-TV's "NC Weekend" and on local TV spotlights. We are also featured in a documentary film soon to be released into the Sundance Film Festival. Beer blogs and other beer periodicals and magazines have also written about our farm.
We are currently concentrating on three varieties of hops. Cascade, Nugget, and Chinook hops seem to thrive on the farm. Each year, we harvest our fist pick to local breweries who produce a “wet” or a “fresh hop” seasonal beer that flies off of the tap. Our second harvest is often dried where we sell it to home brewers.