I’m as Hoppy as Pharrell. Or not.

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When you’re hoppy and you know it, clap your hands.

clap clap

When you’re hoppy and you know it … clap your hands.

Clap Clap

When you’re hoppy and you know it, then your IPA will show it.

When you’re hoppy and you know it, clap your hands.

CLAP CLAP

The reality is, unlike Pharrell Williams, I am not a hoppy person. I am malty. My preference in beer will always tilt toward porter and stout, and away from those overly-hopped IPAs that make my tongue feel like it needs to be mowed after just a few sips. OK, maybe that’s a little hopperbole. And it’s just one man’s hopinion. But you get my point.

Behold ... the Hop.
Behold … the Hop.

But … I certainly understand the value of the hop in the beer-making process. Without it, beer would not be beer. After all, hops are one of the three ingredients allowed in beer according to the Reinheitsgebot, aka the German purity law.

Therefore, when presented with the hopportunity to help out a local farming family with their new hop yard, I was hoptimistic.

So last Saturday we went to visit Jane, Jason and Juli-Anna. Our mission? To find the leaders (or “bines”) of the hop plants and attach them to a string that we tied to an overhead wire and anchored in the ground next to the plant.

Motivated by the thought that these flowers would someday fulfill their destiny in a kettle of boiling water that would hoptimately become beer, we put in a hoptimum effort. Two hours and two rows later, our task was well hopsecuted. So much so, that Jane invited us back for the fall when it’s time to pick the hops. Who could be hopposed to that?

— Eric Van Steenburg

The hop yard at the halfway point.
The hop yard at the halfway point.

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