Late summer/early fall is hop harvest season, and more of us would have known that already back in the 19th century, when New York State was America’s leading producer by far of the essential beer ingredient. Though the prime locus of hops production has since shifted to the Pacific Northwest, today’s burgeoning interest in homebrewing, the trendiness of more intensely hoppy-flavored beers and new laws in New York bolstering farm-based brewing operations have combined to create a favorable climate for the Hudson Valley to become a hotbed of hop farms.
Spearheading that movement is Dutchess Hops, headquartered at Eastern View Nursery in Lagrangeville, which has been planting more acreage in hop vines each year of late. That makes local homebrewers and microbrewers very happy, since they now have easier access to fresh “wet” hops, instead of always having to rely on the dried variety that tends to lose its pungency in transport or storage.
Last year Dutchess Hops toasted its newfound success by hosting the first Hoptember Harvestfest, and the second visitation of this special event will be held on Saturday, September 13. Billed as “a true farm-to-pint experience,” Hoptember will feature at least 25 breweries, distilleries and cideries pouring samples of craft beer, hard cider and spirits in a celebration of all things hoppy. Regionally produced food, including hop-smoked barbecue from Hudson Valley Ribfest winners Bacon Brothers BBQ in Canton and hop-infused nibbles from Tomás Tapas in Wappingers Falls, plus local bands Tall County and Buckeye Rooster, will add to the day’s festivities.
Hoptember Harvestfest runs from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is limited to adults age 21 and up, by advance sale only, with all-inclusive tickets available online for $50 at www.dutchesshops.com. Designated drivers can get in for $25. A pair of VIP tickets to the event – worth $75 each and including early admission at 11:30 a.m. plus other extras – will be awarded in a drawing for visitors to Grand Cru Beer & Cheese Market in Rhinebeck. For more information call (845) 838-6122 or check out Dutchess Hops on Facebook.
Hoptember Harvestfest, Saturday, September 13, $75/$50/$25, Dutchess Hops, Eastern View Nursery, 1167 Noxon Road, Lagrangeville; (845) 838-6122, www.dutchesshops.com.