-First Paragraph, FFA Creed
Mountain View Hops began farming hops in the early spring of 2016 with 8 varieties. Since then, we have grown and trialed over 25 different publicly available cultivars of hops. Our trials of different hops and their growth characteristics in our hopyard continue to this day.
Over this timeframe, we have been able to gather lots of useful information from our trials. This information includes fungicide, pesticide, and herbicide efficacy, as well as growth and harvest data for all the trialed cultivars. Our testing and evaluations are an ongoing process that sees many new changes and updates as the years progress.
Our hops cones have been used by local breweries, wineries, and kombucha producers in both wet and dried form. We continually test our cones, using a local university, for dried moisture content and alpha acid levels. Sensory analysis combined with physical testing, along with growth characteristics, yields, and pest/disease resistance have all helped MVH to determine which varieties grow well in our hopyard.
Since hops have not been grown in Virginia as a commercial commodity for over 100 years, much of the knowledge has been lost to time. Furthermore, even if that knowledge were to be obtained, many new obstacles to growing hops have presented themselves in our modern times. These include pests, diseases, available cultivars, and modern farming practices.
Virginia is a unique state to grow hops in as it boasts so many different growing regions from high mountains to low flatlands, and all the way to coastal waters. There are hops growers in each of these areas who are learning what works best for their particular situation and farming styles. With this amount of diversity, no one farming practice, hop variety, or location can lay claim to being the "best". It is with this "out-of-the-box" thought process and determination on finding new and possibly better ways to farm hops that so many have gotten into growing this crop in our state.
Our desire at MVH, through the Ag Division, is to help small-scale hops growers in our state - through education - to grow hops well with information gathered from our farm. While we acknowledge there are many variables and differences to growing hops in our state, we also recognize that there are common similarities. It is our hope that the information we gather at our hopyard can be used to further enlighten current and future hops growers across the state to the similar difficulties we all face. United with this knowledge, we can work together to bring the agriculture of hops farming back to levels not seen in over 100 years in Virginia.
The professionals at hop·nólogy have decades of experience in the hops and brewing industries. Their scientific and sensory breakdowns on various topics make them an indispensable asset to anyone wanting to learn more about growing hops and using them, or other ingredients, in the brewing processes.