Patrick Boegel's got hops


Beer doesn't grow on trees.

By Jessica Pasko

Plenty of people brew their own beer, but Patrick Boegel takes home brewing a step further.

The Delmar home brewer has been crafting his own beers for about ten years -- but last year he decided to start growing his own hops.

Hops are one of the main component of beer -- and they're a really important part of how the beer tastes, but most home brewers just buy them.

So why did Patrick Boegel start growing his own? To get him through the great world hops crisis of 2007.


Yeah, I had no idea either -- but apparently back in 2007 so many hops crops were ruined that many hop farmers stopped growing the specialty breeds and focused on their popular varieties -- the kind sold in mass quantities to the country's largest breweries. Others stopped growing hops altogether. All this meant far less variety for craft breweries and home brewers.

Boegel says the Cooperstown area used to be kind of a hot bed for hops, but they haven't really been grown in this region in a while. He's not the only one trying to bring hops back to the region, though. Apparently the folks at Brown's Brew Pub are also giving it a shot, too .

What's sort of cool about the plants is that they're apparently pretty easy to grow organically -- Boegel says ladybugs are pretty much the best pest remedy. Technically hops are kind of a climbing weed, and are in the same family as cannabis. (Yes, really.) In fact, some people will claim you can interchange the two, but most real beer brewing connoisseurs would scoff at that.

Hops - small.jpg

Last year Boegel planted two types of hops: a European and an American varietal. This is the first year he'll be able to harvest them to use for his own brewing. While the plants likely won't yield much this time around, he's expecting that by next year the plants will provide enough hops for all of his home brewing projects.

Boegel brews mainly American and Belgian ales, and gets most of his supplies and malt from Hennessy Homebrew Emporium in East Greenbush.

When he's not busy crafting beers though, he's working for local media marketing company Media Logic.


I'm pretty sure some of that is growing wild in my yard. Hops, that is ---not the other stuff.

Interesting that central NY (like Schoharie County area) was once one of the largest producers of hops in this country. I believe that distinction now is in either Washington or Oregon...

Yakima Valley in Washington State accounts for 70-75% of hops production. Oregon and Idaho up to 30%.

I can't wait to taste the fine brew that my brother will produce with these beautiul hops!

Thanks to Jessica for coming by and taking a look at these. The yield was about what I expected this year, enough to do about 10 gallons, five gallons of American Ale, 5 gallons of Belgian.

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