Ramble On

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New Vines at Beaver Run Brewery

It's spring and that means the hops rhizomes are gathering their energy from the sun for another growing season.  Dan told me he would be setting up the trellis in the hopyard over at Beaver Run Brewery last weekend, so I rounded up Tessie and we headed over to watch the action.

Dan and Sally have a couple of acres of woods where these rail-straight small cedars grow.  They are so densely planted in the forest that they grow to about fifteen feet and a calipered diameter of about 3 to 4 inches - in other words, they are perfect for this purpose.

When I got there, Dan was headed out for a couple of the poles so we strolled out and selected two good fallen cedars, bringing them back to the hopyard.  Then he set them up to hold the lines for the vines to grow up.

He has thinned out some of the hold varieties - Willamette and Centennial, to be exact.  I was the beneficiary of a half dozen of these rhizomes, and I planted one of each there at Hawksbill Cabin.  I'll plant one of each in the yard in Alexandria, too - as soon as I am back from the frozen north, and I plan to give a couple to Stan, another homebrewer who is also an Air Force buddy.

Dan added a row of Hallertau this year, and he tells me that he will be putting in two rhizomes of Gold Kent.  So he'll have five varieties going in there.  The whole point is to see what grows well here in Virginia - although we know that the Cascade thrives.

After he was finished with the effort, I pointed out for him the areas where he could easily quadruple the plantings.  And what happens then?

Well, I think he has to quadruple the brewing!

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