Michigan State University Extension (click through for flyer) will offer a Sustainable Hops Production Workshop on December 17th, 2008 from 10-5:30 p.m. at the Hagerty Center in Traverse City (venue change!). The workshop is sponsored by The North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NCR SARE).
There is extremely high market demand by brewers and consumers for hops, most likely due to an unforeseen national hop shortage. In 1997 there were nearly 45,000 acres of hops grown in the US, but by 2007 that number had declined to 31,000 acres. Growers are currently receiving record prices for hops. Hops may provide Northern Michigan growers with a profitable value?added commodity that can be marketed to local breweries and consumers.
Dr. Ron Godin, a hops expert from Colorado State University, will discuss Growing Sustainable Hops: from Rhizomes to Sales and Hopyard Construction, Budgeting and Economics. Rick Pedersen a long-time hops farmer from New York State will provide detailed information from a commercial grower’s perspective. Steve Marquie from Michigan State University will give a lecture on Michigan Production and Best Management Practices. Dr. Rob Sirrine, MSUE Leelanau County Extension Director will present the results of a brewer survey, and Rex Halfpenny of the Michigan Beer Guide will lead attendees through a beer-tasting clinic entitled: “Using Hops for Taste: Beer Variety Tasting”.
The workshop is for extension educators, growers, brewers and anyone interested in hops, from production to beer consumption. The cost is $20 and includes lunch. Space is limited so please register early by calling MSU Extension in Leelanau County at 231-256-9888.