What's On Tap?: Hop Farm

By Brittney Hibbs

Published 08/08 2014 10:04AM

Updated 08/08 2014 10:24AM

The flavor that beer lovers crave so much, starts at a hop farm and Brittney Hibbs heads to a Vermont farm hoping to pave the way for future hop farmers. Here at Borderview Farm in Alburgh, Vermont, you'll find rows of hops.

"We’re in a hop farm. This is where it all begins if you drink beer or brew beer hops are very important," says UVM Agronomist, Dr. Heather Darby, "The goal is to conduct research to try and figure out the best way to grow hops in Vermont. We have about 24 different varieties out here in our hop yard really trying to figure out which ones produce best in our climate."

Brittney Hibbs: "When you look up at these how tall are they?"

Dr. Darby: "They are about 14-16 feet."

Brittney Hibbs: "Why try to build a hop farm in the first place?"

Dr. Darby: “We wanted to do this because there was a demand for local hop production and there wasn’t really any research or information on how to grow crops and so what we are trying to do is provide really good research information so that farmers have a good chance at being successful at growing this crop in this state. “

Brittney Hibbs: "How many students do you have out here working?"

Dr. Darby: “You can hear the hustle and bustle of students out here working. We have graduate students and undergraduate students as well as technicians that help us with this project. “

 Brittney Hibbs: "A lot of the brewers are using these hops in their beers as well?"

Dr. Darby: “Yeah what we do is harvest the hops and we’ve been working with brewers, local different brewers every year so that they can experiment with the hops”

Brittney Hibbs: "So it’s not quite what’s on tap yet but almost. Thanks to Dr. Heather Darby for telling us about her hops. Let’s take one last smell of the hops. That’s what on tap!

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