“Hops?” asked Susanna Sturgis. “Are you guys making beer?”
Not exactly. Here’s the story behind our hops crop.
A couple of years ago, we cleared up the cellar for a visiting grandson who decided that once we’d gotten rid of the really spooky cobwebs, it was the perfect place to brew beer. He was ready to settle down to a steady life of beer brewing. Would we mind planting some hops?
So we planted two hop vines by the vegetable garden fence. “No other vine is faster growing,” according to Jung Seeds, where we bought the hop vines. “Plants can grow up to 20 feet in one year.” Time passed and we sort of forgot about them, since the grandson decided to go back to Ohio University and major in environmental geography. Jung hadn’t told us what a prodigious crop of hops two contented vines can yield. Something had to be done.
Nephew Gary Montrowl came to our rescue. His pub of choice is Offshore Ale, a restaurant and brewery in Oak Bluffs, where they produce a dozen varieties of beer and ale. “Once a year,” Gary said, “Offshore Ale brews Hopps Farm Ale made with hops from local growers. You interested?”
A bushel basket of hops later, Gary estimated that we might have provided as much as three percent of the hops needed for a batch of Hopps Farm Ale.
Our remuneration? In another two weeks, we’re likely to get two growlers of one of the finest brews there can be, made (in part) from our own hops.