Two opportunities to learn about growing hops

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(Posted July 12, 2018)

Hop production in Ohio has increased in recent years as the craft beer industry has rapidly expanded throughout the state. According to the Ohio Craft Beer Association, Ohio is home to 278 craft breweries with 65 more in the planning stages. Additionally, Ohio is ranked fifth in the nation in craft beer production.

Hops, a climbing plant, is a key ingredient in beer brewing, and many breweries are interested in including locally grown ingredients in their products.

While opportunity exists for hops production in Ohio, there is much to learn before getting started. The Ohio State University Extension is offering two programs on hops production.

On July 19, OSU hops specialist Brad Bergefurd will give a talk on backyard hops production, focused on growing hops in home gardens. The program is free and runs from 6 to 8 p.m. at the east end of the Farm Science Review where a demonstration hop garden is located. Participants should bring a lawn chair. Register by contacting Mary Griffith at (740) 852-0975 or griffith.483@osu.edu.

On July 24, OSU will host a full-day program focused on commercial hop production. The program will cover marketing, labor and expenses, variety selection, pest control, packaging requirements, and other topics. The program begins at the Ayars Family Farm in Mechanicsburg. The afternoon session takes place down the road at the Zachrich Hop Yard where participants will get to see a commercial hop yard and a mechanical hop harvester demonstration. A panel of hops farmers and OSU specialists will talk about their farms and answer questions. The program is $25 and includes lunch. To register, contact Amanda Douridas at (937) 484-1526 or Douridas.9@osu.edu.

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