Hop farming interest growing locally

(BinghamtonHomepage.com)

Binghamton (WIVT) – A recent agricultural study conducted by Broome County showed an increased interest in producing hops used in beer by local farmers. Let’s take a closer look at how local farming and production could impact ever-growing breweries in our area.

In January of 2013, Governor Cuomo passed an act that would give licenses to breweries under the condition that twenty percent of the hops and other ingredients had to come from within the State.

Kristen Lyons took advantage of the situation and opened the Binghamton Brewing Company located in Johnson City. Lyons says at the time there were only 100 acres of hop farms in New York State. She says local farming could create a new atmosphere that could pave the way for success for both local breweries and farms.

“It’s a great opportunity to create this relationship and help to make the business thrive and then it helps us.  So it’s that symbiotic relationship you can only create by going local.  We really believe that’s essential,” she said.

Jason Gardner is the head brewer at Binghamton Brewing Company. He says there’s a true sense of teamwork and respect when it comes to purchasing locally grown ingredients.

“When you’re working with national producers, you’re a very small fish. But, when you deal with local companies that are also small, there’s a lot of comradery and local cooperation,” he said.

The North Brewery located on Washington Ave. in Endicott however is not a farm brewery and workers can sometimes have a tough time finding available hops.

Zach Pedley is the owner of the North Brewery.  He says the demand for hops is there and it’s only a matter of time before local farmers can meet that demand.

Read More …