Ocean State Hops is bringing hops back to Rhode Island. Fueled by a passion to cram as many hops into each batch of beer as humanly possible, we decided to start growing our own. And with our recent expansions, we are happy to be able to supply hops to other brewers looking to quench their thirst for hops.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hail to the Small Scale Hop Farmers

There is an article on small scale hop farmers in the December 2009 issue of Brew Your Own magazine. It touches on the benefits of smaller hop farms and some of the difficulties they face. Glen Fuller of Colorado Organic Hops in Paonia, Colorado and James Altwies of Gorst Valley Hops in Mazomanie, Wisconsin, two of the more well-known small scale hop farmers, were both interviewed for the article.

You can check out the article here. It's worth the read.

Do you know of any other small scale hop farms out there? Let us know! Send an email to oceanstatehops@gmail.com with the farm name and/or contact information.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Yes, you read that right. Ocean State Hops is giving away limited amounts of our 2009 whole leaf hop harvest. And no, we're not crazy.

Ocean State Hops wants your feedback so we have decided to give away our hops. All we ask is that you use the hops to brew, and let us know how the beer came out and what you thought of our hops. Pretty easy, right? Yeah, we thought so too.

So here are the ground rules for the 2009 Hop Harvest Giveaway:
  1. We have a limited supply of hops so they will be given away on a first come, first served basis until supplies run out.
  2. To fulfill your end of the bargain, we will send you an email with a very simple questionnaire to fill out and email back to us after you brew with our hops.
  3. We've already done the hard work and spent enough money on these hops, so shipping costs will be up to you. We will be sending the hops through the Post Office by COD. According to Mike The Post Man, shipping costs should be about $8.50 (including the COD fee). Or, if you're in the Rhode Island area email us to arrange for a pick-up and avoid shipping!

Finally, the good part. Here's how to order your free hops. Send an email to oceanstatehops@gmail.com with the words "Free Hops" in the subject. In the email, include your name and address, and your preference of hop variety in order from most preferred to least preferred. If your top-listed variety is sold out, we will try to get you your second highest variety, and so on. The varieties you have to choose from are: Cascade, Centennial, Nugget, and Chinook. You will receive anywhere from 3 to 8 ounces of our whole leaf hops, while supplies last.

So get emailing, these hops are sure to run out! Once the hops run out, the deal is done. We'll let you know as soon as possible whether or not you responded in time.

Happy brewing!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Got Poop?

We've been busy prepping for winter the past couple of weeks. The grass got its final cut, the plants have been trimmed, and the twine has been cut. That only left one thing...spreading poop. Cow poop to be specific.

We priced out our different options and decided that undehydrated cow manure by the yard was our best bet. Joel contacted a local farmer and was able to get some fresh manure delivered to the farm. And by fresh I mean still steaming. This stuff was potent (as described by the closest neighbor down wind). After a couple of hours shoveling this stuff around, we had some happy hops that were ready for winter. They'd better be anyway.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

NY Times Article

The NY Times published an article this week on Sodbuster Farms, a hop farm in Salem, Oregon. The article follows the hop harvest from the field and into the wort as fresh hops at Double Mountain Brewery. There's a a great slide show too. Check out the article: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/21/dining/21hops.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=fresh%20hop&st=cse

Won't be long before Ocean State Hops will be in articles like this...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

End of Season - 2009

We had a few random second year plants and some first year Cascades left to harvest in early September. The work never stops at Ocean State Hops.

As we said...the fastest hop picker in New England. Kara made short work of the Nuggets.

We had to call in the recruits for the last few first year Cascades that never really took off. Meet Betty - the oldest farmer in Rhode Island (no joke). Watch out though, she doesn't take crap from anyone. And never try to take her picture when she's busy picking.

Just kidding. She's as nice as they come. And apparently she's a natural hop picker.

What a crew...

Peace out!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Cascade Harvest - 8/16/09

The Cascades were our biggest harvest of the year. We had some second and third year plants that were loaded with cones, and about 50 first year plants that did better than expected. It took most of the day and more beer than anticipated, but we harvested close to 12 pounds on August 16th.

Abe could hardly contain himself. I can't blame him...

Joel and Abe taking down the last few Cascades from the first row.


The tractor kept a close eye on the crop while it dried.

Nothing like a jump in the pond after a long day of picking hops...

(That's a 14' ladder, in case you were wondering.)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

First Harvest of 2009 - 8/8/09

We had our first harvest of the year in early August. A few Centennial plants bloomed early and we harvested 5 plants on August 8th.

Ahhhhh....the sweet smell of freshly picked hops! We were able to get about 2 pounds from these first few plants.

We built our own custom racks for drying the hops. The racks are about 4' by 4' and can hold up to 3 pounds of dried hops each.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mid-Summer Update - July 30, 2009

June and July were two of the wettest months on record in New England (over 10" of rain in July alone!), but the hops didn't seem to mind. Luckily the farm is located on nice glacial outwash deposits so drainage is generally not an issue. And once the sun finally came out at the end of July, the plants really started to take off.

The second and third year plants did fantastic. They reached the top of the trellis and began lateral growth by early July.

Some of the first year plants, Cascade in particular, performed much better than we thought. Others did pretty well, while some really...sucked. This helped us determine which varieties will do well around here though.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Breaking Ground - May 25, 2009

We broke ground in more ways than one in May of 2009. The new trellis system was just completed, some of the second and third year plants were already 1 to 2 feet high, and the new grass seed was taking off. Little did we know, this would probably the warmest day for the next 2 months.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Crew

Joel is the muscle of the operation. He also brings the horitcultural know-how, and discounts on tools, equipment, and fertilizer.

Matt likes to think he brings the general "beer knowledge". In addition to farm work, Matt does a lot of the promoting and advertising. And no, he doesn't golf.

Kara is Joel's sister and Matt's wife, so she keeps everyone in line. She's also the quickest hop picker in New England. And as you can see from the picture, she loves genips.

Abe is the all-purpose guy. He can plant, water, and pick with the best of them. He's also on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Excluding Monday through Friday. And some weekends when he has to work.