Ohio Brew Week Symposium

Piketon, Ohio Experimental Hops yard 2013

Piketon, Ohio Experimental Hops yard 2013

Date:  Wednesday July 16, 2014

Where: Casa Nueva Restaurant

Time: 2-3:30pm

Open to the public

In 2014, the Ohio Hop Production Symposium, an Ohio Brew Week event, is designed to educate potential regional hop growers regarding cultural practices that improve plant health and yields through sustainable production techniques as well as discuss topics such as identifying, understanding, and cultivating hops strains that prove to be viable in various Ohio soil conditions and climates. The symposium also aims to bridge the gap between local craft brewers and Ohio farmers who produce ingredients found in handcrafted beer (e.g., organic hops, grains, honey, fruit).

Scheduled Panelists:

  • Brad R. Bergefurd, Extension Educator Agriculture and Natural Resources for the Ohio State University Extension Office
  • Melissa Christen of Jackie O’s Barrel Ridge Farm, Athens, Ohio
  • Steve Patterson of Hop ‘n’ Pepper Farms,  Athens, Ohio
  • Ted & Jessica Schneider of Schneider’s Hop Haus, Aurora Ohio
  • Andy Pax of Heartland Hops, Ft. Recovery, Ohio

Hop growing in the United States has a proud tradition going as far back as the late 1800s. The majority of the American hop industry has, and continues to be, family owned and operated farms in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. In the 1980s, craft brewing became a phenomenon and artisan brewers throughout the country began to establish small brewing operations with the simple mission of brewing innovative, quality beers and as a result, the micro-brewing industry began to experience exponential growth.

Despite the fact that the craft industry was growing at unprecedented rates, until recently, most hop farms and dealers did not care to accommodate the needs of microbreweries. As a result, there has been renewed interest in small-scale hops production in the Upper Ohio Valley. To date, craft brewers have applied their passion and skill using ingredients that have trickled down from industrial brewers. The results using locally sourced product are outstanding and continue to win market share for the ever-growing craft brewing industry.

Ohio Brew Week believes that with the significant increase in Ohio craft brewing and increased emphasis on using locally grown ingredients, the time has come to connect the dots. The supply needs of craft brewers and the wishes of Ohio farmers to expand and diversify their farms, could fill a growing niche product line that would enhance evolving microbrewer’s recipes.