Osborn Brewing to Start Hop Farm

Osborn Brewing is attempting to secure kickstarter funding to start their own hop farm in Monroe, Ohio.  While their misleading name may lead you to believe that they are a craft brewery, this small local Monroe business is actually a home-brew shop.  Their aim is to start a local, sustainable source of hops to provide local breweries and home brewers a consistent, regional source of hops.Their kickstarter page has a few more details:

We are in the process of turning 86 acres of land into a hop farm. This will provide locally sourced hops to area brewers from the hobby to professional scale. This also means that when it comes time to harvest, brewers will have a source of fresh “wet hops” to use in their seasonal brews. Part of the money raised by your backing will go towards making this a reality. By backing this project, you will help bring us closer to having 100% locally made beers in our area.

This ambitious project needs support.  At the time of this article they have secured over half their goal from eighty-nine individual backers.  Unfortunately they have only three days to go and over four thousand dollars left for their goal.

While there are numerous challenges in growing hops Osborn Brewing is quick to point out that Mason,  Liberty Township, West Chester, and Monroe all had successful hop farms before prohibition.  All Osborn Brewing wants to do is revive this practice to decrease shipping and general hop costs to local brewers.  Their plan is to begin growing non-proprietary hops such as Cascade, Centennial, Hallertau, Tettnanger, Golding and Williamette with aims to add any rare or obscure hops they can get their hands on.

Having recently spoken to local brewers about the difficulty of growing your own hops this project is ambitious.  Many farms dedicated to hop growing spend considerable time and money in ensuring that all nature of factors are as controlled as possible to keep the hop flavor consistent.  Many hop farms track things like air pollution, climate, rain fall, water toxicity, pH levels on water and soil, nitrogen, and many more.

Osborn BrewingOsborn Brewing

While Osborn Brewing isn’t initially planning to go to this level of sophistication initial (and who can blame them) they should be applauded for wanting to provide a local source of hops for interested brewers.

There is no reason the Pacific Northwest needs to be the only place to secure good, American hops.  And small breweries should capitalize, if possible, on decreased shipping fees and the buy fresh, buy local mentality.  It makes good business sense.

If you have a few dollars to spare, consider backing this project.  And consider growing your own hops if you have a bit of land to spare.  I know Mike did so for one of his home brews and it turned out delicious.