Conference planned for hop growers and brewers

SOUTH BURLINGTON, VT — A number of internationally recognized hops experts will speak at the eighth annual Vermont Hop Conference, Feb. 25. Sessions will be offered for both established and potential hop growers.
The conference, which is sponsored by University of Vermont (UVM) Extension, will take place at the Sheraton Burlington Hotel in South Burlington. It will run from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with registration beginning at 8:15 a.m.
Registrations are due by Feb. 20. The fee, which includes lunch, is $75 or $65 for Northeast Hops Alliance members. Anyone not able to attend in person may watch the conference as a live broadcast for $35.
Links to the conference flyer and registration site can be found at www.regonline.com/hopconference . To request a disability-related accommodation to attend, call Susan Brouillette at 802-524-6501 or 800-639-2130 (toll-free in Vermont) by Feb. 3.
Participants will hear about Hop Growers of America programs and the overall hop market from communications director Jaki Brophy. Julien Venne, a Quebec hop crop consultant, will provide strategies for increasing yields.
The program also includes talks by two brewers. Bobby Grim of Foam Brewers in Burlington, VT, will discuss brewing with Vermont-grown hops. Rich Michaels of Saranac Brewery in Utica, NY, will describe the characteristics of beer brewed with local hops.
Research updates will be provided by UVM Extension agronomist Heather Darby and the UVM Extension Hops Team and Cornell Cooperative Extension hops specialist Steve Miller. Other talks will focus on wild hops and downy mildew resistance, integrated pest management and pelletizing hops.
Sessions for beginning growers will include how to start a commercial hop yard, costs of production, basic hop agronomy, irrigation systems, integrated pest management, harvesting and post-harvest processing. Vermont hop growers and UVM Extension staff will lead the discussions.
For more information, call 802-524-6501 or 800-639-2130 to speak with Susan Brouillette or Heather Darby.

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