Arvada's Voss Farms is looking for volunteers to harvest its hops -- and whoever shows up will be able to brag about how they helped supply some serious flavor for Black Shirt Brewing (opening in September), Wynkoop Brewing, Strange Brewing and Arvada Beer, all of which will use the hops in their beers.
"This will be a huge harvest for them," says Branden Miller, co-founder of Black Shirt, which is buying 90 percent of the farm's output, or roughly 300 pounds of hops.
Voss only has one acre of hops, which makes it difficult -- or impossible -- to make a profit on the hops even though Black Shirt is paying more than twice the going rate for the plant, which runs around $7 a pound. "He does it because he loves it, and we're doing it because when you want to create beer de terroir, you've got to do what you got to do." Black Shirt is trying to buy as many local ingredients as possible.
All of the hops will be vacuum packed and stored in Black Shirt's cold room, where it will be used over the course of the year to dry-hop its beers. Most beers are made from hops that have been ground down and pelletized, which makes brewing easier. Voss doesn't have pelletizing equipment, however, so the whole hops cones are used.
Voss will pick its Centennial and Willamette varieties on August 3 from 5 to 10 p.m.; August 4 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and August 5 from 8 a.m. to noon. (Check the Voss Facebook page" target="_blank">farm's Facebook page to make sure Sunday session will take place). RSVP for directions to VossFarmsColorado@yahoo.com.
It will harvest Chinook and Cascade hops on August 10 from 5 to 10 p.m.; August 11 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and August 12 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Check the Voss Facebook page" target="_blank">farm's Facebook page to make sure Sunday session will take place). RSVP for directions to VossFarmsColorado@yahoo.com.
The work isn't hard, according to Voss, just repetitive -- and it is done indoors since the bines will be cut down before the hops are picked.
Pickers will get a t-shirt, free beer (from Black Shirt and Odell) and good karma. There will be horseshoes and darts after the picking is done. For updates and to check to see whether harvesting will take place on Sundays, go to the Voss Facebook page.
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