Hendersonville’s Times-News: Farmers, brewers, experts ponder growing hops for local beer industry

FROM “Farmers Consider Growing Hops for Local Breweries”:

…”I mean, you brew on harvest day, and it’s within hours of (picking) those hops, and there’s nothing else like it,” [co-owner of Southern Appalachian Brewery in Hendersonville Andy] Cubbin said. “If you can achieve a good, fresh-hop ale … remarkable. Everything about the hops comes through on a greater scale. Obviously, you can’t do that without local farmers.”

Enter Jeanine Davis, associate professor and extension specialist at N.C. State University’s Mountain Horticulture Crops Research and Extension Center in Mills River. Davis is exploring the potential of making hop-growing a viable niche industry statewide, providing farmers with the opportunity to add a profitable crop to their portfolio.

She led the way in securing a grant for the establishment of a quarter-acre, experimental hop yard at the research center, which is right around the corner from where the nation’s second-largest microbrewery, California-based Sierra Nevada, is about to start building a second facility. …

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