May 23, 2010 8:54 PM by Matt Stafford
Brewing beer is an intricate process, and even for those doing it in the business world it's a hobby as well.
"People at the brewery started growing hops at their houses about five years ago just so we could prove you could do that along the front range," says Ken Andrews who works with Bristol Brewing Company as a microbiologist.
Now with some donated space at Venetucci Farms, the plants have been moved outdoors. Ken and his wife Barbara are getting their Front Range hop growing challenge off the ground.
"Oh, they'll grow up and over the top of that. They grow about 18 to 20 feet." Barbara Andrews says.
The hop yard they're working on will probably give off less than 20 pounds of hops
"We use close to 50,000 pounds of hops a year at Bristol," says Ken.
So, don't expect every hop used to be grown in Southern Colorado. Many craft beer makers don't have any, but soon you might get a taste.
"It would be a nice idea to grow up all the hops we need for a years worth of brewing but it would take much of the land that you see here," Ken says. "For very small batches of beer though you can do it."
That's the plan here; to put out a small specialty beer, maybe, some day, brewing a beer from items only grown on the local farm. For now they're continue to grow the idea of Front Range hops, what started out as potted plants in the back yard five years ago.
"At this point I think we would have to conclude that it did (work)," says Ken.
Down the road, you may begin to taste a little more Colorado in your beer.
The goal is to grow enough hops for a Belgian farmhouse ale, using all ingredients grown on Venetucci Farm.