The bulk of news about locally-made alcoholic beverages in New York usually deals with wine. Now, the sudsy side of the equation has something to talk about.
A coalition of forces has created the state's first Hops Institute which will hold an ongoing series of courses aimed at educating anyone involved in the grewing industry.
The Institute's first course, "Hops 101: An introduction to growing, processing and marketing hops in News York State," is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 20, at the Saranac Brewery, 830 Varick Street, Utica. It is expected to be attended by current and prospective hop growers, commercial brewers, home brewers, government or agricultural extension agents and hops enthusiasts.
The Institute came about after state Assemblyman Bill Magee, D-11th District (parts of Madison, Oneida and Otsego counties), last year steered funding to the Madison County Agricultural Economic Development Program to purchase a hops harvester and start the Hops Institute. The Northeast Hops Alliance, New York State Brewers Association and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County are working with the Institute.
“I am pleased to be a part of hops returning to upstate New York," Magee said. “We have a terrific opportunity in this historic hops growing region to produce hops for local micro-breweries. I believe this initiative will be an asset to the agricultural community, leading to economic development and job creation throughout Central NewYork.”
"Hops 101" will be led by Gorst Valley Hops of Wisconsin. Gorst Valley offers knowledge and services in the growth and processing of hops to all Midwest farmers, including providing drying, pelletizing and packaging capabilities for any regional hop grower. Gorst is working to re-introduce hops to the Midwest as a viable alternative crop to help ensure their region’s brewing heritage. In addition, "Hops" 101 will feature New York hops growers and commercial brewer panels.
The course costs $75 for Northeast Hops Alliance members and $95 for non-members. The fee will cover course materials, lunch, and pizza and beer after the course. Registration is limited.
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