110 Hop-Growing Aficionados Tour Sites Of County Revival

110 Hop-Growing Aficionados

Tour Sites Of County Revival

Upstate's "Mr. Hops," Madison County Cooperative Extension Agent Steve Miller, demonstrates using a baler at the first stop of today's hops tour, Northern Eagle Beverage on Railroad Avenue, Oneonta. (Jim Kevlin/allotsego.com)
Upstate’s “Mr. Hops,” Madison County Cooperative Extension Agent Steve Miller, demonstrates using a baler at the first stop of today’s hops tour, Northern Eagle Beverage on Railroad Avenue, Oneonta. (Jim Kevlin/allotsego.com)

 

Lou Hager III answers tour members' questions at the Hager Hops yard in Pierstown.  At left is his sister Alicia, a partner in this venture.
Lou Hager III answers tour members’ questions at the Hager Hops yard in Pierstown. At left is his sister Alicia, a partner in this venture.

ONEONTA – Otsego County’s reputation as a hops-growing hub was further fertilized today at 110 hops growers, prospective hops growers and people interested in the revival of the historic local crop toured sites from Oneonta to Pierstown.

Another 30 people tried to register for the Northeast Hops Alliance’s annual Field Day, but couldn’t be accommodated, said Alycia Schick, a staffer with the Madison County Cooperative Extension Service.  A smaller tour is contemplated to accommodate those people.

The tour, led by Upstate’s “Mr. Hops,” Steve Miller, the cooperative extension agent, based in Morrisville, who has been a key organizer and information resource for the Central New York hops revival, began at Northern Eagle Beverage in Oneonta and stopped for lunch at the Cooperstown Brewery in Milford, where Northern Eagle’s hops harvester, the first in the county was examined.

After a visit to Brewery Ommegang’s experimental hops plot — a couple of dozen varieties are being test-grown — the tour finished at Hager Hops in Pierstown, where 10 acres of the crop have been planted this summer.