Wednesday, February 17, 2010

It's Time to Think About Growing Hops

Your yard is smothered by grungy February snow... which means it’s time to think about planting hops! Really, this is the season to decide upon the homegrown you’ll be brewing with next fall.

Homebrew Market in Appleton is now taking pre-orders for hop rhizomes, the gnarly little root that rapidly grows into a tenacious vine. All orders have to be placed by March 1st for shipping later that month. This year, Homebrew Market is offering 12 varieties of hop rhizomes, each priced at $5.99. It’s a great deal on high-quality, Hop Union rhizomes.

If you’ve ever had the urge to grow hops, you really ought to give it a shot. It’s so easy and there’s nothing like brewing your own beer with your own hop cones.

Although they’d prefer you stop in at their shop, Homebrew market will take orders by phone Monday through Thursday. You pay when your hops come in. Growing instructions will be included with your order.

I talked to Robert at Homebrew Market and he suggested you do a little research before putting your order in. The European hops tend to be less resilient so you’ll want to start with varieties that grow best in our area. I’ve had great success with Cascade and Nugget, but this year I’m going to branch out and try some Fuggle as well, though they’re not quite as hardy.

To get started, here’s a LINK to more information from Homebrew Market. This’ll give you a concise rundown of the rhizomes they’re offering and how the program works.

Hell, even if you don’t brew beer, hops are a cheap, impressive plant and a great addition to your landscape. If you like beer, you'll love walking into your own back yard and being greeted by the smell of fresh hops.

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