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Growing hops in west central Illinois

Published June 19, 2017

URBANA, Ill. - As a new generation of commercial and home brewers emerges, the demand for locally grown hops is on the rise. Traditionally grown in the Pacific Northwest, hops can also be grown successfully in the Midwest climate. However, this crop requires more inputs and infrastructure than a typical backyard garden.

University of Illinois Extension will offer two opportunities in July to learn more about growing hops on both a small scale and commercial scale.

On Friday, July 14, join University of Illinois Extension small farms and local foods educator Grant McCarty for “Growing Hops for Homebrewers,” as he details what you need to get started growing hops in the Midwest. McCarty will cover disease and insect management, irrigation setup, harvesting, and marketing hops to brewers.

This program will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the McDonough County Extension Office and 4-H Center in Macomb, Illinois. It is free and open to the public. Registration is encouraged, but not required. Register online at http://go.illinois.edu/Hops4Homebrew. For more information, call 309-342-5108, or email achriste@illinois.edu.

On Saturday, July 15, McCarty will present an educational workshop at The Hallowed Hops Farm Field Day near Lewiston, Illinois. This field day will allow participants to experience a living, working hops yard. This event will be from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and will include a tour of the farm, discussion of industry details, lunch, educational workshops, and networking. Space is limited, and registration is required. Register online at www.iira.org/event-registration/?ee=16. For more information, call 800-526-9943, or email icdc@wiu.edu. This event is sponsored by Illinois Cooperative Development Center and Hallowed Hops Farm.

Anyone interested in growing hops, homebrewing, or the “drink local” movement is encouraged to attend either of these events for a chance to ask questions and learn from experts.