When searching for a brewery space, we hoped to find a location where we could plant & grow hops on site. When our budget precluded this, we got creative and envisioned a distributed community hopyard where locals could grow hops at home that had been propagated from our original plants. Connecting them to our brewery, to agriculture, to an incredibly special beer and to the entire Windsor Locks community.
Hops are NOT inconspicuous. They can grow up to a foot per day and typically reach 15-18 FT heights during our growing season. We thought this would provide a great conversation piece for curious neighbors – allowing growers to talk about the project, our brewery and the cause.
Come late August, Early September, growers are invited to bring their harvest to the brewery. At which point we dry & vacuum seal the cones for storage until we are ready to brew our special ultra-local beer.
Our goal is to make a beer with ingredients sourced within a 5-mile radius of the brewery.
We will combine our ultra-local hops with ultra-local malt, grown & malted by the Thrall Family in Windsor, CT.
Growers will be invited to participate in the brewday – though we will make some adjustments to this for COVID safety. When the beer is done, growers will receive their first pour on the house!
The beer will be called, Putting Down Roots. Obviously, there are many layers of meaning to this. Aside from literally putting down hop roots in Windsor Locks (#hopsinthelocks), this name represents our commitment to the community and more broadly to supporting the future of local agriculture.
A portion of proceeds from this beer will go to the Grove Street Garden project. This is a local garden operated by volunteers and students of the local Vo-Ag school. The veggies they grow are donated to the Windsor Locks Food Bank to provide fresh produce to local families in need.
This organization beautifully knits together our commitment to the people of Windsor Locks, to supporting agriculture and to ultimately making a positive impact in our community.
Photo: Jen displays the plentiful harvest of hop cones from one of our Community Hopyard garowers.
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