Budding hops and bines growing tall up the trellis, it’s a good day.
A few months ago I planted 20 hop rhizomes into some simple 1-gallon plant pots (you can see the video on how I did that here). After that, I built a 21-foot hop trellis in our hop yard and then transplanted my hops into the soil and set up an irrigation system (you can see that video here). If you watched the videos then you know how much work it really takes to go from Rhizome to hop cone, especially in the South Eastern U.S.
GA Clay vs. Cascade
It was hard work and took a lot of time and energy to get to the point of seeing budding hops in the yard. Generally, hops are very hard to grow in Georgia. In fact, I had several people tell me that you can’t grow them here. Through my research, I found a couple people who had some success and reached out to them to learn a few tips. That is why today was pretty cool to see actual hops developing and growing high up the trellis. We’ve only planted 20 rhizomes of cascade so we will not be anywhere close to being able to sustain our brewery hop needs, but who knows in the future. For now, we might have enough hops to do a simple one-off brew. Maybe it will be something cool for the tasting room.
The first year hops are known to produce a very small yield. It takes a few years to produce good mature plants. Hopefully, we will continue to grow our hop yard and make it a fun part of our tour and brewery atmosphere. The harvest itself could be a unique event that people can look forward to attending. Cook up some BBQ let people harvest the hops and drink some good brews. Then make a special one-off hop harvest brew. Sounds fun to me.