Hops and Beer Resources
With the increased interest in hops and fresh hopped beer in the Southeast, there is a growing number of creative projects and resources for growing and using local hops in the region.
Blue Mountain Brewery is a pioneer in utilizing local wet hops to brew award winning beers in the Southeast. They established a hopfarm at their brewery in Afton, VA in 2006 and have been using those hops to great success. Their wet hopped Belgian ale, Blue Reserve, won a silver metal at the Great American Beer Fest in 2011. It is the only beer awarded a metal at the festival made entirely of east coast hops. Blue Mountain continues to expand their hops production and their use of estate grown hops in specialty beers. Stan Driver of Hoot'n Holler Hops has been managing the hopyards at Blue Mountain since 2009.
Old Dominion Hops Cooperative is a newly established association of hop growers in the Southeast. Chaired and founded by Stan Driver, Old Dominion was established to provide education, shared resources, financing assistance and marketing for aspiring and established hop growers in the region.
North Carolina Hop's Project is a project of North Carolina State University under the auspices of the University's Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center. The objective of the Hops Project is to provide scientific support for local hop growers; identifying well adapted hops cultivars and best management practices for the region. Run by Dr. Jeanine Davis, the Hop's Project maintains a trial hopyard at the Mills River Research near Asheville, N.C.and provides education and advice to the growing community of local hops farmers.
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery in Richmond, VA is engaged in a innovative cooperative beer making project. Every August they produce RVA IPA, a wet hopped American-style India Pale Ale brewed with hops sourced from the local community. To encourage the development of backyard hops production, Hardwood Park has distributed hops rhizomes to the Richmond community every spring since developing the RVA IPA in 2011.
Southern Appalachian Hops Guild is a growers association made up of east-coast hop farmers with the mission to further the cultivation of hops in the Eastern US. With the help of NC Co-operative Extension Service, they hope to offer a nutrient management programs, disease and pest management workshop classes, and processing options to increase the marketability of hops in the region.
Northeast Hop Alliance is an association of hop growers, brewers, homebrewers, historians and educators dedicated to exploring the feasibility of re-establishing commercial hops production in the Northeast. With the support of the Cornell Cooperative Extension and the University of Vermont Crops and Soils Team, the Alliance is seeking to increase support for and the appreciation of hop production.
Devil's Backbone Brewing Company is an award winning brewery and brewpub located in Roseland, VA. Established in 2008, Devil's Backbone has had a reputation for high quality beers made with high quality ingredients. Their Blue Ridge Hop Revival wet hop beer is made with locally sourced hops from Old Dominion Hops Coop members. In 2013 Devil's Backbone won the Small Brewing Company of the Year award at the Great American Beer Fest.