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NC-VA Hops Conference brings together growers, brewers

Hops growers and brewers in North Carolina and Virginia are invited to attend the first NC-VA Hops Conference and Beginning Hop Farmer Conference, March 13-14 at North Carolina Cooperative Extension’s Forsyth County Center, Winston-Salem.

This two-day event is co-chaired by Jeanine Davis, hops researcher and Cooperative Extension specialist, NC State University, and Stan Driver, co-chair of Old Dominion Hops Cooperative and owner of HootnHoller Hops. The program features growers, brewers and researchers from both North Carolina and Virginia.

With a growing craft beer industry in both North Carolina and Virginia, this event seeks to develop new, local sources of hops – a key ingredient in craft beer. Presently, most U.S.-grown hops are produced in the Pacific Northwest.

Saturday, March 14, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., NC-VA Hops Conference
This conference brings together a large number of regional hops growers and brewers to continue to grow the Southeastern hops industry. Keynote speaker is Steve Miller, Cornell University hops specialist. Other speakers include experienced growers, local craft breweries, researchers from North Carolina and Virginia and other industry representatives. Lunch will be served. The agenda is posted on the Eventbrite page.

Friday, March, 13, 2-6 p.m., Beginning Hop Farmer Conference
This session is designed to help new hop growers learn how to grow hops from experienced growers in the region. Instructors are Rita Pelczar and John Wright of Blue Ridge Hops in western North Carolina and David Goode of Piedmont Hops with hop yards in North Carolina and Virginia.

Registration for these events begins at $27.37 for the Friday session and $53.74 for the Saturday conference. To register, find accommodations information and see a full event schedule, visit the Eventbrite site at:

Members of the program committee are Sebastian Wolfrum, Brewmill brewmaster; Mary Jac Brennan Forsyth County Extension agent; Sean O’Keefe, brewing science researcher at Virginia Tech; Ken Hurley, beer chemist at Virginia Tech; Laban Rutto, hops researcher at Virginia State University; Rita Pelczar and John Wright, growers, Blue Ridge Hops; Seth Cohen, brewing scientist, Appalachian State University; Margo Metzger, director of the N.C. Craft Brewers Guild; Cassidy Rasnick, director of the Virginia Brewers Guild; and Holly Scoggins, horticulturist at Virginia Tech.

Exhibitors and sponsors are welcome. See the Eventbrite page for information.

For more information, contact Jeanine Davis at 828.684.3562 or (put “Hops Conference in the subject line).

-provided by N. Hampton, or 919.513.3128