Archive: Grower

Improving Your Business and Protecting Your Workers

How many business owners and business managers really buy into the fact that when you protect your workers you are improving your business? The key factors focused on by most employers are increasing revenue and reducing the operational costs. Of course, this makes sense, however, the operational costs can be affected by increased and frequent worker turn-over, rising workers’ compensation premiums, absence of workers due to injuries, training of new workers, and fines imposed by regulatory agencies for an employer’s failure to protect workers. The purpose of this article is to provide information to help business owners assess how they can take proactive steps to improve their business by protecting their workers. Cost of Worker Turn-over It only makes sense […]

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Hop Farming Extends Beyond the Pacific Northwest

Throughout the U.S., interest in hop farming has expanded beyond the Pacific Northwest. Farming entrepreneurs from California to New York love beer and want to try their hand at growing local hops. They want to discover what varieties will thrive in their soil and withstand regional weather conditions all while creating a local hop source for brewers. What does it take to grow hops? Growing requires three key components: full sun, access to water for irrigation, and moderate-to-well-draining soil. If this is true in the Pacific Northwest, why can’t regions throughout the country also be prosperous? That’s precisely what Eric Sannerud and his partner Ben Boo of Mighty Axe Hops in Foley, Minnesota asked themselves. “There’s really no reason not […]

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Blue Ox Malthouse: A Conduit Between Communities

For Joel Alex, a maltster is a conduit between communities, a craft to its source, a farmer to a creator, a producer to a customer. As a homebrewing enthusiast with a background in environmental education and community development, Alex, founder of Blue Ox Malthouse in Lisbon Falls, Maine, became a change agent for agriculture in the Pine Tree State after a conversation at a farm potluck. “A craft brewer and I discussed the lack of local ingredients available in the industry due to lack of malting capacity. The light bulb went off! Somebody had to do this!” he told Beverage Master Magazine. “I had friends growing grains and other friends getting into milling grains and brewing beer. The idea just […]

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Hop Growers Anticipate Plenty of Product for Brewers This Year

Brewers across North America anticipate plenty of hops, as growers continue a years-long trend of increased production. Last year, hop production across the U.S. totaled around 104 million pounds, over 55,000 acres. The Pacific Northwest is the runaway production leader for hops in the U.S., with Washington alone accounting for 53,000 acres. “Currently, the Pacific Northwest crop looks very good,” said Ann George, executive director of the Yakima, Washington-based Hop Growers of America (HGA). Irrigation water supplies are adequate this year, and mild temperatures have contributed to good growing conditions, George said. Roy Johnson, national sales manager with John I. Haas Inc., which is based in Washington, D.C. but grows hops in Yakima, as well as other regions worldwide, agrees. […]

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Malting Barley Research at Penn State Aims to Support Craft Beer Industry

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – When it comes to libations, more and more Pennsylvanians are raising their glasses in favor of craft beer. In fact, according to the Brewers Association, a national not-for-profit trade organization, there are 136 craft breweries in Pennsylvania that produce more than 4 million barrels of beer annually. The economic impact of the industry is estimated at $4.48 billion, the second largest in the country. The industry’s popularity has caught the attention of researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, including Greg Roth, who’s spearheading research in malting barley — a key ingredient in craft beer production — with a goal of helping Pennsylvania farmers benefit. “In the last 15 years, there has been a tremendous […]

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Buying vs. Leasing Depends on Business, Experts Say

Cash on the barrelhead is a must for Rusty Cox’s barrels, or whatever equipment he needs to run Davis Valley Distillery LLC in Rural Retreat, VA. “If you have money to buy, you don’t have to worry about lease payments; just go ahead and pay for the stuff and get it,” says Cox, who makes spirits, wine “or just about anything you need.” Cox is getting ready to buy a 300-gallon system from Paul Hall of Doniphan, MO-based Affordable Distillery Equipment LLC, which sells stills, fermenters, air compressors, pumps, tube kits and an array of other implements a distillery needs. There’s even a bit of bartering involved in some transactions with Hall, Cox says. “Paul sends people over here, and […]

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GROWLERS: What are your options?

    For many brewmasters, growlers make them cringe, thinking of the loss of quality in their product from the moment it is poured. Imagining someone drinking a freshly tapped IPA two days after it was poured into a poorly sealed amber glass container is almost gut wrenching. However, the demand for growlers continues, and many have made it their mission to improve the growler experience, for both the brewmaster and the consumer. Every day new technologies become available to the beer industry, making growlers even more sought after, as a cheaper way to enjoy consumer favorites or small batch brews, or as collectibles that consumers seek out. For many breweries, tap rooms and beer retailers this gives them an […]

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The Hops Demand Squeeze Strategies to Save Money & Ensure Your Supply

Times are good for beer lovers in America. In 2014, almost 3,500 breweries slaked America’s thirst for the frosty beverage, with more than 3,400 of those classified as producing “craft” beers. By September of 2015, the number of breweries in the United States had grown to over 4,000. As with bread, wine, and coffee—three staples that have witnessed the American consumer mature to demand more than doughy white bread, heavily oaked chardonnays, and truck-stop coffee that tastes of burned popcorn—the American palette has also matured to appreciate more than just the refreshing but thin mass-produced lagers that have dominated the American beer scene for over a century. Enter aromatics. The centralization of breweries over the last century hurt hops production […]

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Alternative Malting Grains

Barley is arguably the most common grain used to make a base malt for brewing. Base malts set the stage for fermenting, by converting starches to sugar. Barley’s high enzymatic activity means that starch conversion is favored, and brewers can count on it to do its job. Base malts typically comprise more than 80 percent of the grain bill. But it isn’t all about the barley. Brewers also use other malted grains. Rye, wheat, sorghum- along with buckwheat, which is not a true grain – are some other crops which can be used to create base malts for brewing. These and other malted grains can also be used as components of barley based beers. With such a variety of malting […]

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Preparing for Next Year’s Growing Season

Now that the harvest is over for hops, barley, and rye, it’s time for the grower to prepare the soil for the next year. Experienced and novice growers alike are always looking for ways to improve the quality of their soil in an effort to beat the last year’s crop yield. Whether you who uses organic or conventional farming methods, there are several ways to increase the health of your soil to produce a higher quality grain. There are a plethora of products on the market as far as fertilizers, sprays, and pesticides for both farming methods. Some farmers choose to use organic treatments, but do not choose to go through the process to become a certified organic farm. Farm […]

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