Chelsea Green Publishing

The Hop Grower's Handbook

Pages:288 pages
Book Art:Color photos and illustrations throughout
Size: 8 x 10 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Paperback: 9781603585552
Pub. Date September 29, 2015

The Hop Grower's Handbook

The Essential Guide for Sustainable, Small-Scale Production for Home and Market

Availability: In Stock

Paperback

Available Date:
September 29, 2015

$34.95

It’s hard to think about beer these days without thinking about hops.

The runaway craft beer market’s convergence with the ever-expanding local foods movement is helping to spur a local-hops renaissance. The demand from craft brewers for local ingredients to make beer—such as hops and barley—is robust and growing. That’s good news for farmers looking to diversify, but the catch is that hops have not been grown commercially in the Eastern United States for nearly a century.

Today, farmers from Maine to North Carolina are working hard to respond to the craft brewers’ desperate call for locally grown hops. But questions arise: How best to create hop yards—which are virtual forests 18-feet tall, are expensive to build, and the hop bines themselves often take up to three years to reach full production? How to best pick, process, and price them for market? And, how best to manage the fungal diseases and insects that wiped out the hop industry one reference years ago, and which are thriving in the hotter and more humid Eastern United States thanks to climate change? Answers to these questions can be found in The Hop Grower’s Handbook—the only book on the market about raising hops sustainably, on a small scale, for the commercial craft beer market in the Eastern United States.

Written by hop farmers and craft brewery owners Laura Ten Eyck and Dietrich Gehring, The Hop Grower’s Handbook is a beautifully photographed and illustrated book that weaves the story of their Helderberg Hop Farm with the colorful history of New York and New England hop farming, and relays horticultural information about the unusual hop plant and the mysterious resins it produces that give beer a distinctively bitter flavor, including an overview of the numerous native, heirloom, and modern varieties of hops and their purposes. The authors also detail an easy-to-understand explanation of the beer-brewing process, which is critical for hop growers to understand in order be able to provide the high-quality product brewers want to buy. The authors even include a few beer recipes, too.

The book also provides readers with detailed information on:

  • Selecting, preparing, and designing a hop yard site;
  • Tending to the hops, with details on best practices to manage weeds, insects, and diseases; and,
  • Harvesting, drying, analyzing, processing, and pricing hops for market.

The overwhelming majority of books and resources devoted to hop production currently available are geared toward the Pacific Northwest’s large-scale commercial growers, who use synthetic chemical pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, and fertilizers and deal with regionally specific climate, soils, weeds, and insect populations. Ten Eyck and Gehring, however, focus on farming hops sustainably. While they relay their experience about growing in a new Northeastern climate subject to the higher temperatures and volatile cycles of drought and deluge brought about by global warming, this book will be an essential resource for home-scale and small-scale commercial hops growers in all regions.

REVIEWS AND PRAISE

Publishers Weekly-

"Hops is a powerful medicinal plant that has been used for millennia for a variety of ailments (it is a member of the Cannabaceae family—the same family as cannabis). Recently, hops has become the go-to plant for brewing beer, according to authors Ten Eyck and Gehring, home brewing enthusiasts and owners of the Helderberg Hop Farm in upstate New York. As the authors explain, hops provides the botanical element in beer that offsets the sweet sugars and malts with that hint of bitterness, or bite, that really makes the beer. It also helps head retention and acts as a preserving agent. This book provides a great deal of information about this botanical prize, including tips for selecting the best site to grow it, optimal trellising, controlling insects, harvesting, and drying. The authors also guide would-be brewers through the pricing, packaging, and sale of hops, and include some recipes. This is an indispensable resource for the prospective microbrewer and a great study of the wonders of this little-known plant.”

“While driving on rural roads in the northeastern United States, if you look carefully you may notice wild hop vines twining their way up utility poles and signposts, feral reminders of a once-thriving hop industry and a time when brewing and the production of the raw materials used in beermaking were both local endeavors. And while craft brewers helped launch the local food movement over three decades ago, the local production of brewing ingredients has lagged behind. The Hop Grower’s Handbook, packed with research and practical advice, is an invaluable tool for reuniting regional brewers with regional growers. This delightful and useful book should be part of any brewer’s or small-scale farmer’s essential library.”--Peter Egelston, founder and president, Smuttynose Brewing Company

 

“Hop to it—but not so fast! It’s best to learn from the trials and travails of the pioneers who have somehow busted through what recent generations have considered an impasse: growing the hops for truly local beer and reviving a commercial hop industry in parts of the United States that a century ago caved to the success of growers in other, far-flung regions. A how-to guide without a narrative of successes, failures, and subsequent innovations is a recipe for disaster, not to mention boredom. Laura Ten Eyck and Dietrich Gehring lived and share the compelling story of the recent resurgence of hop production in the Northeast—a high-flying grassroots movement bringing together hopophiles, dusted-off texts of a bygone era, terroir aficionados, cutting-edge farmers, and creative extension agents. Their book elevates hops knowledge to a new level while making even the most far-reaching possibilities tenable. Prost to the plant ready to take over and offer yet another convivial contribution to our local food—and drink—renaissance! Hop, hop, hoorah!”--Philip Ackerman-Leist, author of Rebuilding the Foodshed

The Hop Grower’s Handbook is a fantastic source of information that will absolutely help revive the small-scale hop-growing industry of New York and other eastern states. Ten Eyck and Gehring give experienced and novice farmers alike a structured plan to efficiently start and maintain a hop yard at the most ideal scale for today’s local hop markets. Farm brewers and microbreweries should be excited, as this book will surely help make locally grown hops more readily available in the coming years. The authors and their Indian Ladder Farmstead Brewery and Cidery have continued to stay ahead of the curve on hop growing, harvesting, and processing. The hard work and time put into this book benefits all of us in the small-scale brewing industry. As a Brooklyn-based brewer, I’m eager to watch the regrowth of a product with such heritage in the state of New York, and I look forward to making more great beers brewed with more quality, locally grown hops.”--Matt Monahan, co-founder and co-owner, Other Half Brewing Company

“How exciting to begin to see the principles of healthy growing brought to the hop yard! This handbook richly shares wisdom on hop horticulture as well as trellising, harvesting, and drying methods. But Ten Eyck and Gehring properly take the discussion further—weaving in biodiversity, disease acumen, and compost-based nutrition. Local brews deserve local hops, creating yet another quintessential niche for a savvy grower.”--Michael Phillips, author of The Holistic Orchard and coauthor of The Herbalist’s Way

“Beer from here! In their quest to re-establish hop growing in the Northeast, Laura Ten Eyck and Dietrich Gehring have compiled a holistic and adventuresome volume. We all benefit from their curiosity and action-research tactics. The local beer and brewery scene is heating up fast, and demand for local ingredients will continue to grow. I urge young farmers to study up and get in on the action!”--Severine von Tscharner Fleming, director, Greenhorns

“Given the recent explosion of hop production in the Northeast, new growers are frantically looking for information. So, welcome to The Hop Grower’s Handbook—the only book covering practical hops production in the region. A timely and highly valuable resource for growers!”--Heather Darby, agronomy specialist, University of Vermont

“If you want to grow hops, read this book through, then put it on your nightstand and read it every night to remind yourself of what’s coming next. It’s a seriously informative and surprisingly engaging book, full of resources and wise advice about all phases of growing, harvesting, and selling the buds that flavor the brew.”--Joan Dye Gussow, author of Growing, Older and This Organic Life

“I have spent the last several years working with an eclectic  group of new hop growers, including Ten Eyck and Gehring, in New York and other eastern states. Up until now I have had to tell them that there is no ‘cookbook’ for growing hops on a smaller, but commercial, scale. There is much information on the Internet—but most is anecdotal, unproven, and geared toward backyard home-brew enthusiasts. Now I can point people to this well-thought-out and informative publication. This is a great step forward for the new hop industry!”--Steve Miller, hops specialist, Cornell University

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Laura Ten Eyck

Laura Ten Eyck owns and operates Helderberg Hop Farm and Indian Ladder Farmstead Brewery and Cidery with her husband, Dietrich Gehring. The two have been growing hops and brewing beer at home for more than twenty-five years and have been working to restore local hop production in the northeast. Helderberg Hop Farm is located on 60 acres of Indian Ladder Farms, an extensive pick-your-own orchard with a local foods grocery, bakery, café, and retail gift shop in upstate New York that Ten Eyck previously managed. The orchard has been in Ten Eyck’s family for four generations, and she and Gehring have lived there for more than twenty-five years, growing fruits and vegetables for sale to restaurants, gardening extensively, and raising sheep for meat and wool, dairy goats for milk, and chickens for eggs and meat. Ten Eyck is also senior manager of New York Outreach and Projects at American Farmland Trust, a nonprofit where she advocates for national and regional farmland conservation, and was previously a freelance journalist.

Laura lives on the Helderberg Hop Farm in Altamont, New York.

Dietrich Gehring

Dietrich Gehring is a small-scale commercial hop grower, professional photographer, home brewer, and co-owner, with Laura Ten Eyck, of Helderberg Hop Farm and Indian Ladder Farmstead Brewery and Cidery.  Helderberg Hop Farm, located outside the City of Albany in upstate New York, is a 60-acre farm growing barley, hops, apples, pumpkins, and blueberries. Gehring grew up working on his grandparents’ dairy farm, attended the New England School of Art and Design, and went on to pursue a career in photography while working as a photo editor for Animals magazine and Workman Publishing, editing the Audubon and Greenpeace photo calendar series, among others.  He is a photographer of agricultural and natural landscapes, selling his work through galleries and to individuals. He has photographed all manner of farms ranging from apple orchards and vegetable and sunflower farms to cattle, sheep, goat, pig, and poultry farms. His work has been published in numerous magazines and can be viewed online at www.dietrichgehring.com. Gehring’s long love of hops and brewing began decades ago, when he was sales manager for Newman’s Albany Brewing Company, one of the first craft breweries in the United States.  It was here that he learned how to brew beer and market it locally. He has worked in Boston, Massachusetts, and New York’s Capital Region selling high-end imported and domestic beers, as well as in specialty stores in the Boston area offering a wide selection of craft beer. 

Dietrich lives on the Helderberg Hop Farm in Altamont, New York.

AUTHOR EVENTS

November 11, 2018

Laura Ten Eyck at SUNY Cobleskill Lifestyle Farming Conference

SUNY Cobleskill, 106 Suffolk Circle, NY | Laura Ten Eyck

See all Events by this Author

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Miraculous Abundance

Miraculous Abundance

By Perrine Hervé-Gruyer and Charles Hervé-Gruyer

The Bec Hellouin model for growing food, sequestering carbon, creating jobs, and increasing biodiversity without using fossil fuels

When Charles and Perrine Hervé-Gruyer set out to create their farm in an historic Normandy village, they had no idea just how much their lives would change. Neither one had ever farmed before. Charles had been circumnavigating the globe by sail, operating a floating school that taught students about ecology and indigenous cultures. Perrine had been an international lawyer in Japan. Each had returned to France to start a new life. Eventually, Perrine joined Charles in Normandy, and Le Ferme du Bec Hellouin was born. 

Bec Hellouin has since become a celebrated model of innovative, ecological agriculture in Europe, connected to national and international organizations addressing food security, heralded by celebrity chefs as well as the Slow Food movement, and featured in the inspiring César and COLCOA award-winning documentary film, Demain ("Tomorrow"). Miraculous Abundance is the eloquent tale of the couple’s evolution from creating a farm to sustain their family to delving into an experiment in how to grow the most food possible, in the most ecological way possible, and create a farm model that can carry us into a post-carbon future—when oil is no longer moving goods and services, energy is scarcer, and localization is a must. 

Today, the farm produces a variety of vegetables using a mix of permaculture, bio-intensive, four-season, and natural farming techniques--as well as techniques gleaned from native cultures around the world. It has some animals for eggs and milk, horses for farming, a welcome center, a farm store, a permaculture school, a bread oven for artisan breads, greenhouses, a cidery, and a forge. It has also become the site of research focusing on how small organic farms like theirs might confront Europe’s (and the world’s) projected food crisis. 

But in this honest and engaging account of the trials and joys of their uncompromising effort, readers meet two people who are farming the future as much as they are farming their land. They envision farms like theirs someday being the hub for a host of other businesses that can drive rural communities—from bread makers and grain millers to animal care givers and other tradespeople. 

Market farmers and home gardeners alike will find much in these pages, but so will those who’ve never picked up a hoe.  The couple’s account of their quest to design an almost Edenlike farm, hone their practices, and find new ways to feed the world is an inspiring tale. It is also a love letter to a future in which people increasingly live in rural communities that rely on traditional skills, locally created and purveyed goods and services, renewable energy, and greater local governance, but are also connected to the larger world.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

Miraculous Abundance

Perrine Hervé-Gruyer, Charles Hervé-Gruyer, Eliot Coleman

Paperback $24.95

No Risk Ranching

No Risk Ranching

By Greg Judy

Greg Judy was forced to liquidate his cow herd to pay debt in 1996. By the end of the following year he was dead broke and figured the family farm was history. A quote from Allan Nation, editor of The Stockman Grass Farmer magazine changed his whole view of ranching. Nation said, “Your sole purpose should be not to own the land, but to make a living from the land.”

Inspired by that approach, Judy started looking for idle, non-developed pastureland. By focusing on leasing rather than owning land, his grazing operation grew from 40 stockers to 1100 head. By custom grazing on leased land he was able to pay his entire farm and home loan within three years. Today he has four farms and leases 12.

No Risk Ranching, Custom Grazing on Leased Land describes how he found and managed his first and subsequent leases. He offers a detailed guide for other graziers to follow on how to find idle land to lease; calculate the cost of a lease; draft and write a land lease contract (with examples included); develop good water and portable fencing on leased land; promote wildlife and improve timber stands; keep accurate records and more.

No Risk Ranching was written to help other graziers from making the same mistakes Judy made. He writes, “I am convinced that in the USA our pastures are one of our most underutilized natural resources. I am not against land ownership. I just feel like it is an awful hardship on a new blooming grazing business.”

Available in: Paperback

Read More

No Risk Ranching

Greg Judy

Paperback $35.00

The Organic Grain Grower

The Organic Grain Grower

By Jack Lazor

The ultimate guide to growing organic grains on a small and ecological scale, The Organic Grain Grower is invaluable for both home-scale and commercial producers interested in expanding their resiliency and crop diversity through growing their own grains. Longtime farmer and organic pioneer Jack Lazor covers how to grow and store wheat, barley, oats, corn, dry beans, soybeans, pulse crops, oilseeds, grasses, nutrient-dense forages, and lesser-known cereals. In addition to detailed cultivation and processing information, Lazor argues the importance of integrating grains on the organic farm (not to mention for the local-food system) for reasons of biodiversity and whole farm management. Including extensive information on:

  • The history of grain growing and consumption in North America
  • The twenty-first century and the birth of the local-food movement
  • Considering your farm's scale and climate
  • Understanding soil fertility and structure
  • Planting your crop (including spring vs. fall cereals and preparing your soil)
  • The growing and ripening process (reproductive, milk, hard-and-soft dough stages)
  • The grain harvest
  • Preparing grain for sale, storage, or end use (drying, cleaning seed, grain handling)
  • Seed breeding and saving
  • Machinery, infrastructure, and processing (both home-scale tools and larger farm equipment)
  • Grinding grains for livestock rations (including how to put together a ration based on protein content) and sample rations for dairy cows, pigs, and chickens
  • Processing grains for human consumption
  • Additional resources and information for new grain farmers, and more...

Beginners will learn how to grow enough wheat for a year's supply of bread flour for their homestead, and farmers will learn how to become part of a grain co-op, working alongside artisan bakers and mills. Never before has there been a guide to growing organic grains applicable both for the home-scale and professional farming scale. This will be a classic for decades to come and a crucial addition to any farmer's, homesteader's, gardener's, agronomist's, or seed-saver's library.

Available in: Hardcover

Read More

The Organic Grain Grower

Jack Lazor

Hardcover $45.00

Edible Forest Gardens, Volume I

Edible Forest Gardens, Volume I

By Dave Jacke and Eric Toensmeier

Edible Forest Gardens is a groundbreaking two-volume work that spells out and explores the key concepts of forest ecology and applies them to the needs of natural gardeners in temperate climates. Volume I lays out the vision of the forest garden and explains the basic ecological principles that make it work. In Volume II, Dave Jacke and Eric Toensmeier move on to practical considerations: concrete ways to design, establish, and maintain your own forest garden. Along the way they present case studies and examples, as well as tables, illustrations, and a uniquely valuable "plant matrix" that lists hundreds of the best edible and useful species.

Taken together, the two volumes of Edible Forest Gardens offer an advanced course in ecological gardening--one that will forever change the way you look at plants and your environment.

Available in: Hardcover

Read More

Edible Forest Gardens, Volume I

Dave Jacke, Eric Toensmeier

Hardcover $75.00