If you follow me on Facebook, you may have noticed that I posted about the tours that were being offered at Hoppy Valley Organics in Pownal, Vermont. iBerkshires published an article about it on July 9 and I knew as soon as I read it that I’d be there. We’ve driven by the farm many times en route to and from our CSA (and other places) and I’m always interested in seeing more behind the scenes of our local food and drink production.
Brian and I headed up to Hoppy Valley Organics last Friday afternoon before going to the CSA. It seemed that the only people around were people with connections to the business, so we were quickly greeted and offered beers, hamburgers and hot dogs. I don’t consider myself an IPA person, but I got a cup of the Fiddlehead Brewing Company IPA from Shelbourne, VT and it was delicious. Maybe I need to continue branching into the IPA realm.
We chatted with the lovely folks of Hoppy Valley Organics and it was really interesting. Best I can tell, they started farming the hops sort of on a whim, though there’s some good support from the state of Vermont to do so. Currently they have 4 different types of hops in the ground. I’ve been on a lot of brew tours, but usually all you learn about hops are that they’re an ingredient in beer. Sometimes you get to see a sample of the hops. But, generally speaking, I didn’t know any thing about them. We talked about where some of their hop varieties come from and how susceptible they are to different diseases and issues. We talked about how they know when the hops are ready to be picked and how they’re harvested. It seems like everyone involved is interested in having a good time and supplying local home brewers and breweries with local, organic crops.
I don’t know whether Hoppy Valley Organics will be doing another open house, but they also manage the Vermont Tasting Room at the Hillside House. They’ve also just added homebrew supplies to the shop. The tasting room is definitely worth checking out next time you drive by. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next with Hoppy Valley!