Monday, January 21, 2008

Sticking it to the hop shortage

Okay, so we've been thinking of doing this since before the hop shortage, but this year we're hoping to finally start growing our own hops. We're currently considering Northern Brewer, Hallertauer and Spalt for our hop varietal of choice. If anybody has suggestions on what grows well in Chicago or where to get some rhizomes locally, shoot us an email.

On a side note, I came across this link while checking my gmail account. I love how they don't actually say what varietal of hops they're selling, as if they're all the same. Well, they do note that the vine "[p]roduces pale yellow hops that give home brews authentic Old World flavor" and that "[v]ariety is 3-4 times more bitter than most hop vines." Of course, when I think "Old World flavor," I think of noble hops, and when I think of "3-4 times more bitter," I think of Pacific Northwest hops. So what varietal would be both? Beats the hell out of me. Anyway, the bottom line is I can't imagine any homebrewer would buy hop vines not knowing what kind of hops they actually are. Then again, somebody recently sent me this link which features a 1-lb. bag of unspecified hops on sale for only $9.99, so maybe I'm wrong.


Anonymous Bill Velek said...

As new hop growers, I want to be sure that you are aware of my Grow-Hops Yahoo Group with 759 members and lots of experienced growers and hop growing information at

I hope you don't think of this as spam; I'm just trying to be helpful.


Bill Velek

2:56 AM, January 22, 2008  
Blogger Adam said...

I have some info over here too.

Bill's yahoo group is pretty informative. I've used it a couple of times to see what people are up to.

Hops Growing Resources

Got my rizhomes from Northern Brewer I think.

1:02 PM, January 22, 2008  
Blogger Russ said...

Bill- Actually, my wife (who has the green thumb) signed up for the yahoo group over the weekend. From what I've heard it's very informative. Thanks for getting it started!

Everybody else- definitely join Bill's yahoo group if you're planning on growing your own hops.

3:41 PM, January 22, 2008  

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