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New Facility in Albemarle to Offer Local Hops to Craft Brewers

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Greenmont Hopworks will provide local hops for breweries Greenmont Hopworks will provide local hops for breweries
Many regional breweries currently get their hops from the northwest Many regional breweries currently get their hops from the northwest
The facility turns wet hops into pelletized hops The facility turns wet hops into pelletized hops
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

A new hops processing facility is coming to Albemarle County.

Hops are what give beer its aroma, bitterness, and taste. While people who live in the Charlottesville area rave about the farm-to-table culture surrounding regional craft brewing, some local craft breweries don’t actually use local hops. That’s what this new facility is hoping to change.

On Tuesday, January 30, a local brewery weighed in on what that means for central Virginia craft brewers and the future of the industry.

Three Notch'd Brewing Company in Charlottesville says most local breweries get hops from the Pacific Northwest where the climate is warmer and quality is guaranteed.

“That’s where a majority of the hops in the world are grown, and that's where most of the high-quality hops are coming out of,” says Jack Murray, the manager of Three Notch’d.

Now, Greenmont Hopworks is trying to change that. The hops processing facility will be built on Plank Road, just off Route 20 in Keene.

“Brewers have been a little hesitant to use local hops simply because they can’t guarantee the quality,” says Andrew Cox of Greenmont Hopworks. “That's what we really want to do, is work directly with brewers and other growers to raise the quality standards to something where brewers don't ask themselves twice.”

Not only does the new facility mean convenience for local breweries, but it also means pelletizing the hops - meaning extending the hops’ shelf life, which allows brewers to use local products year-round.

"A fresh hop is good for about 24 hours, and that’s when you'll start to see the decay of the alpha acid,” says Cox."

Greemont Hopworks will turn wet hops into dry and pelletized hops.

“Grind them up into what's effectively the same kind of pellets as rabbit food, for example, and that shelf life you're looking closer to three years at that point,” says Cox.

That means not only a longer shelf life, but also a local touch.

“More and more consumers are going into bars and going into grocery stores and saying, ‘what do you have that's local?’ and this is just going to feed more into that,” says Murray. “Local beer made locally, using local ingredients, what could be better than that?”

The hops facility’s opening has still yet to be determined.

But, once it's in business, Greenmont Hopworks will offer its services to local growers to pelletize and harvest their hops from July through September.

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