Leelanau and northern Michigan is home to a new crop that we’re seeing more and more of as we travel around – hops! This WZZM video feature looks at some northern Michigan farmers who are finding success with hops:
Farmers Nikki and Steve Sobkowski are relying less on cherries, and more on hops — a key ingredient in making beer. The hops crop was grown widely on the peninsula 50 years ago, but a disease in the plant brought that practice to an end.
The Sobkowski’s have 20 acres of hops in production and grow even more on the Leelanau Peninsula. At a manufacturing facility the Sobkowskis turn the plant into pellets, which brewers prefer.
A brewer already using the Old Mission hops is Mike Hall, master brewer at the North Peak Brewery. Hall and his staff created the “Furry” and the “Wanderer.” Hall says the locally grown and processed hops is fresher and has a superb aroma. Now he’ll be making fewer orders for hops grown in the Pacific Northwest.