This week we’re focusing on a specific overlap of agriculture and beer: small scale hop farming in non-traditional areas. Who is starting small farms, where are they located and what are the historical and present challenges these farmers face in North America where the “scale-up to succeed” mentality and monocropping are most prevalent? How is the “what’s new” consumer fixation challenging for small scale, non-traditional growers, and how do branding and marketing play into the hands of large scale growers? On the other side, where can small scale farmers exceed industry expectations?
Here to discuss the ins and outs of small scale hop farming in non-traditional areas is James Altwies, a trained molecular biologist, horticulturist, and sensory scientist, holding advanced degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Toledo. In addition to his podcast, Hopnology, and consulting work for hop farmers, James teaches at the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago. Listeners may remember him from our sensory discussion in Episode 017. James also weighs in on the impact climate change has had on hop growing, terroir and use of hydro and aquaponics.
Episode Art and HH Logo By: Bryn Gleason
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