Hopyard Variety Evaluation
James Frey – Diversification Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture
Haider Abbas – Diversification Technician, Manitoba Agriculture
Jessica Frey – Research Technician, PCDF
To evaluate varieties of hops for production on the Prairies
Establishment year – no findings
Production of hops is a growing interest in Manitoba. This is especially true as interest in Winnipeg and other cities surrounding locally sourced grains and hops for their craft brews continues to grow. Entrepreneurs in this industry all say that there is definitely room for more growers and as such Manitoba Agriculture seeks to establish a demonstration for interested parties.
Diversification does not only take place a field scale, and horticultural opportunities such as hops provide alternatives for smaller acreage owners. Growers of hops all describe the spicy sweet scents of ripening hops. They are extremely fragrant and the different varieties each offer different qualities to the beers that are produced from them. Equipment for planting and harvesting are available. An August article in the Manitoba Cooperator described how hops growers received funding through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) for harvesting equipment.
Hops quickly grow up to 19 feet in length by the end of June and working to get them properly strung up can provide for very busy work in the first part of the growing season. Once harvested, they are ideally pressed into pellets which are the preferred form for brewers. Some growers are looking at providing this service for other growers and others have devised their own means of producing pellets. The size of the operation will determine what is needed for individual growers.