Dave Pasick is starting a hops yard on his family farm in Utica, NY. Located right in the middle of the Mohawk Valley's former hops belt, Dave found wild hops growing around the old barn and silo on his land. After transplanting the plants to a homemade trellis, he was able to successfully grow them last summer. His first harvest was used to make a wet hop IPA for Saranac Brewery.
Craft beer is booming across the country. New York itself ranks in the top three states with the fasting growing craft beer industry. It’s been called a “bright spot” in the state's economy and the rapid growth is welcomed in many areas of Upstate New York. Last summer, the state legislature passed the Farm Brewery Act, which includes tax incentives and other benefits to give financial relief to burgeoning breweries. The legislation requires that 20% of ingredients used by breweries must come from NYS farms, and that will increase eventually to 90%. Dave's Szaro Farms and others are hoping that by incentivizing local hops and barley production, it will create a new market for the products needed by local craft breweries.
Dave has just started his second growing season, planning to expand the hop yard and produce a larger harvest this year. I'll be following his progress throughout the next few months with more video to come. Learn more at wakemultimedia.com/hopped-upstate/
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