Hey folks! We’re back again with another blog from Spencer Gallant – one of our brewers here at PEIBC. A crew recently took a trip to a hop farm in the region to do some R&D. Read below!
“The first week of September, myself and 3 other brew staff traveled to the Cumberland region of Nova Scotia to visit 2 hop yards. Charles at Wysmykal Farms and Jaquie at Wallace Ridge Farms were more than happy to show us their farms.
Charles started into hops 5 years ago and grows about 1/2 an acre. His yard consists mostly of Cascade, but does have some Centennial and Goldings. Jaquie’s hop yard consisted of roughly 2.5 acres and contains varieties such as Cascade, Nugget, Magnum, Crystal, Goldings, and Centennial. She has been growing hops for 6 years. Currently both farms sell their hops to local breweries in New Brunswick (mostly wet hops) but are looking into pelletizing in the future.
When hops are picked they immediately begin to decompose which is why it is important to either dry the hops or put them in beer immediately. Using the hops fresh will add to the aroma and flavor in ways dried hops cannot due to volatile oils being lost in the drying stage. Wet hops can weigh 4-6 times the amount dried hops do, so weights must be taken into consideration.
Charles and Jaquie were both kind enough to allow us to hand-pick a few fresh hops for our cask program. Keep your eyes peeled for wet-hopped casks that could pop up in our retail store or Stillwell Beer Bar in Halifax, NS.
Cheers, Charles and Jaquie!