A Distinct Minnesota Flavor

Drink while you’re thirsty

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BEGINNINGS

 

Hop -Tup Growers is a business partnership formed by two long-time pals. They had tired taste buds from an era in which the main flavor agent in beer, after water, was rice. #@$% that. Chad and Nick see eye to eye on this insight, as well as many other ideas, for a number of

reasons. First off, both guys grew up on farms. Growing things is in their blood. Second, both have done extensive research (via individual case studies) on beer. Thus, most of the time, it too, is in their blood. It seemed like a natural pairing then to couple their growing experience and love of beer to produce one of its finest, most flavorful ingredients: hops.

 

In the beginning a daunting learning curve faced the duo. Somehow a massive system of poles and cables had to be constructed before any plants could be introduced to the soil. Hop

varieties that offer unique aromas and flavors along with being hardy in Minnesota had to be chosen. A way to get filthy rich while maintaining a constant buzz had to be devised.

Many challenges lay ahead. After nearly four years much progress has been made towards these initiatives.

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THE STORY

 

To kick things off Chad tackled engineering and hardware while Nick focused on gathering resources and equipment. Two or three weekends of hard work along with incredible support from good friends (shout out to Jake Rude and Matt Tupper) led to the built hopyard. That fall, a variety of radish was grown whose long roots helped “mine” mineral rich subsoils as well as create incredible natural aeration. Year one had seen the completion of a ¼ acre (215 ft long X 55ft wide X 20ft high) yard as well as preparation of the soil for planting the next spring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year two began with installation of a solar powered irrigation system and further soil preparation. This involved the reintroduction of soil microbes as well as surface mineralization. While Chad finalized the order of five varieties of hops from a yard in Michigan, Nick found a soil additive made from ocean minerals. It was time to plant. The decision had been made to start with year old plants rather than rhizomes. As the plants were placed in the spot dug for them they were inoculated with the spores of approximately 80 beneficial microbes. These would act as the handshake between the rich soil and the hop plant’s roots. Nearly 300 plants thrived the first summer and, in fact, only eight plants were lost that winter.

 

Year three saw explosive early growth of all varieties of hops, but particularly the Cascade. Support lines had to be raised and reinforced to accommodate the tremendous biomass of a twenty-foot tall bine (similar to vine). As the summer progressed the irrigation system worked well and allowed delivery of an organic, water-soluble fertilizer. However, it soon became apparent that the nutritional needs of the plants were not being optimized. Another organic fertilizer would need to be added the following year to provide the incredible requirements of the plants. Nevertheless, Cascade had so many hop cones it would obviously have to be harvested. This was an unexpected turn of events as everything they’d read/heard told them not to expect a crop until plants had been in the ground three years. Uh oh, the guys had to prepare and implement a harvest in little more than a month’s time. As with so many other aspects of this endeavor things fell into place while friends and family stepped up huge.  Almost twenty people came out on a cold, rainy day that fall and worked several hours for nothing more than Chad’s homebrew and a T-shirt with Hop-Tup Growers new logo. They hand picked nearly seventy-five Cascade bines roughly twenty feet long and loaded with cones. A contingent of Nick’s former students constructed a makeshift oast (drying unit) just in time to begin the week of slowly curing the hop cones. Packaging and freezing followed. Nearly twenty pounds of whole-cone hops was produced from that first harvest.

 

Hop-Tup Growers continue to strive for production of the highest quality hop used in both preserving and flavoring your brew. After all, if your motto too is, “Drink when you’re thirsty” why wouldn’t you select the distinctly flavored hops grown by the Hop-Tup team to perfect your drink of choice?

CONTACT US

Hop-Tup Growers

320-761-1791

sales@Hop-Tup.com

 

3729 41st Ave

Minneapolis, MN 55406

 

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Copyright 2017 Hop-Tup Growers | 320-761-1791 | sales@Hop-Tup.com

3729 41st Ave | Minneapolis, MN 55406

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