Iowa webinar to take look at growing hops

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
Farm Forum

AMES, Iowa — Iowa is home to more than 100 craft breweries and a growing number of home-brew aficionados. Commercial and homebrewers alike depend on one specialty crop in particular to produce their beverages: hops.

Join Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and Cedar Falls Hops Co. for a free webinar on the emerging hops-growing industry in Iowa on April 22 at 7 p.m.

The featured speaker is Keri Byrum of Cedar Falls Hops Co. Byrum is a horticulturist with a degree in biology from the University of Northern Iowa and a master’s degree from the University of Delaware. Cedar Falls Hops Co. currently grows four different varieties of Iowa hops on seven acres, which they sell primarily in Iowa.

“Interest in local food crosses to local beverages, too,” said Christa Hartsook, small farms program coordinator for farm, food and enterprise development with ISU Extension and Outreach. “We hope this free webinar on an emerging industry in Iowa helps both consumers and potential producers to make local connections.”

Byrum’s topics will include:

  • The difference between wild and domesticated hops.
  • Understanding hop anatomy and growth.
  • How hops are grown and harvested to make Iowa beers.
  • Structures for growing hops.
  • Care, maintenance and harvesting practices.

Landowners looking at alternative crops, gardeners and homebrewers are all encouraged to attend. The webinar is free, but registration is required. Register at http://www.aep.iastate.edu/hops.

This is a hops plant.