Conference on hops for farmers and craft brewers
RENSSELAERVILLE — A hops workshop at the Carey Institute for Global Good on Jan. 18 will teach brewers, distillers, and farmers as part of the site’s fledgling hub for a local craft-beer industry.
A Dutch barn on the Carey Institute campus is scheduled to be fully operating in 2015 as the “Helderberg Brewshed,” to house “Farm-to-Glass events,” beer recipe experiments, and a farm brewery. Resident brewers would visit the site and work under a mentor brewer.
“There are all kinds of breweries in the area that are interested in trying new farm brews but don't have the capacity to do that in their existing breweries,” said Sarah Gordon, the institute’s farm-to-glass development specialist.
The barn has been donated by Randy Collins of CSArch, an architectural firm that will help the institute adapt the barn to become a brewery. More than $200,000 has been raised so far, with donations and in-kind contributions, and an Empire State Development grant of $108,000, Gordon said, for 30 percent of the total project budget.
Modeled off of the Farm Winery Act of 1976, legislation went into effect last year, creating farm brewery licenses that require some in-state sourced ingredients. License holders, who must purchase a certain percentage of their materials from New York, can sell their products by the glass, conduct tastings, and have retail stores and restaurants.
The cultivation and distribution of New York state ingredients, like malted barley and hops, however, is underdeveloped, so that brewers and distillers may not be able to buy enough to meet requirements.
The “Farm-to-Glass event,” from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Jan. 18, will host a panel of speakers to talk about site and varietal selection, infrastructure design, troubleshooting, post-harvest and processing considerations, and farmers’ experiences.
Speakers will include Steve Miller, Cornell Cooperative Extension’s statewide hops specialist; John Arnold and Cory Skier from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets’ Food Safety Division; Dietrich Gehring of Helderberg Hops in New Scotland; and Casey and Kelly Holzworth of Kelsey’s Quarter Acre Farm in Greenfield.
The event is $20 at the door. Call 797-5100 for reservations.
— Marcello Iaia