Monday, June 3, 2013

Farm To Pint

Farm To Pint podcast on WFMU
Question and answer segment after main presentation

Andrew Tralka and Jaclyn Van Bourgondien, hop farmers, were the guest speakers at the monthly meeting of Brooklyn Brewery's Legion of Osiris beer appreciation club. They've been growing a few different varieties of hops on a two-acre plot on their family farm in Peconic, Long Island under the business name Farm to Pint.
 Jac & Andrew's adventure into cultivating Humulus lupulus on L.I. began in the Pacific Northwest, where they lived in 2006, when they got into homebrewing.  In 2012, they found themselves back home on the family farm on the North Fork, where they committed themselves to putting locally produced hops into the locally produced beer of this region so well known for its wine production.
Hop bines on their way up, growing clockwise.
Farm to Pint is a play on the "Farm to Table" concept of using locally produced food to provide the freshest, healthiest ingredients possible, all the while supporting local agriculture in a sustainable fashion. Their vision is to be able to provide the burgeoning brewing scene on Long Island with fresh local hops, and make it easier for the breweries to utilize wet hops -- something that breweries in Oregon and Washington likely take for granted -- which is not so easy or inexpensive for brewers located far from hop growing regions.
New York state, specifically upstate near the Finger Lakes, was once the top hop growing region in North America, in the late 1800s. But a series of blights followed by the crippling effect of Prohibition decimated the once dominant commercial crop. North American hop production shifted to the west coast, where it continues to thrive, driven by the growth of craft beer and a surge of new small breweries.
Andrew and Jac.
In the accompanying podcast, Jac and Andrew talk about their hops and dreams, from the moment of inspiration to the picking of their first bitter little cones! It's about an hour long story, filled with fascinating history, interesting technical information, and some fun, funny anecdotes. We thank them for the permission to record their talk, and our thanks also go out to Chris McNally, Osiris member, for providing some of the photos for this article.

The version of the podcast below is the full, unedited presentation, in one file. The WFMU version, linked at the top of the page, is in two parts and was slightly edited. 

  [link to podcast page]

Bob, Maia, Andrew and Jac.
Raise your hand if you grow hops.


Maia of Brooklyn Brewery makes the introduction.


Hop plants were sold at the meeting.


Member were able to order plants in advance.
"Ben Hudson" isn't a new hop variety... yet!


It's not a proper Osiris meeting without some pints!

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