Hops Recovering After Hail Damage

Published 07/25 2014 05:31PM

Updated 07/25 2014 11:23PM

ADDISON, Vt. - Despite its booming local brewery scene, Vermont still has few hop farms. At the end of May, one of those farms found itself smack in the middle of a severe hailstorm.

"It was just white- it was just white," Addison Hop Farms owner Kristofer Anderson recalls.

The huge hail pounded Anderson's acre of plants, squashing hundreds of vines on the spot.

"Some of them were so damaged, it looked like someone took a bite out of them. This is a good example of what the hail did. It’s a nice healthy plant, but you can see, this is where it's broken,” he said while pointing to a damaged vine.

Anderson says he's lucky the storm didn't happen later in the season, leaving the crops no time to grow back.

So far Anderson's best looking plants are in a shadier part of the farm. The hops there were partially shielded from the hail. Still, this year, he's only expecting to harvest about two-thirds of what he normally would.

That means he can't expand his operation at all this season. But his current customers, including Citizen Cider, Bobcat Cafe and Brewery, and Seven Barrel Brewery in New Hampshire, will get the hops they need to keep their brews flavorful.

"They want to use local hops, and I want to give it to them so I’m happy that these guys are actually doing pretty well," Anderson added.

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