Hopyards making a comeback in NY to supply craft brewers

on 14/08/11 at 2:54 pm


Once the center of hop production for America’s breweries, New York state is seeing a small-scale renaissance of hop farming to satisfy a growing demand for locally grown ingredients to make regional craft beers and homemade brews.

Hop-farming was highly profitable in New York state in the 19th century, with 90 percent of all American hops coming from Otsego, Madison, and Schoharie counties in central New York.

The business collapsed as a result of outbreaks of blue mold and aphids, followed by Prohibition. The industry relocated to the Northwest, where the climate kept plants more resistant to disease outbreaks.

About 10 years ago, a handful of central New York growers got together with the Cornell Cooperative Extension and formed the Northeast Hop Alliance to foster a rebirth of the industry here. This spring, the organization got a grant from the state Department of Agriculture and Markets to hire a hop specialist, Steve Miller, to lead a statewide effort to expand production.


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