| Art |

Highland hops help give the city of Denver its distinct flavor: Kenny Be's Hip Tip

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Early residents of the treeless Highland neighborhood were able to cool their homes from the punishing heat of Denver's summer sun by growing fast-growing hop plants. In the fall, the nearby Tivoli and Zang's breweries would buy the bounty of Highland's harvested hop cones to add a distinct flavor to their Denver-brewed beers... As illustrated on the seed packet shown above, the prolific Highland Hop plant will completely cover the Highland Bridge or any structure to which it is tethered for support. The hardy perennial has been known to grow four inches an hour during the high heat of summer -- if watered properly. Each Highland hop bine (similar to a vine, but helix-shaped) will grow to 25 feet and produce two to four pounds of hops.

Like the residents of the neighborhood, Highland hops will dominate a yard and completely overtake a garden. Developers report that the Highland hops plants of older homes that are scraped for redevelopment will grow back to completely cover the new replacement townhouses unless the top 25 inches of soil are removed!

More from our Kenny Be/Comics archive: "Designer fences create beautiful personal boundaries: Kenny Be's Yard Arteology."

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.