Hop Head Farms, breweries to showcase flavor, aroma of the Michigan hops
Late August and early September mark the end of summer and the peak of the hop harvest season.
Of the four main ingredients in craft beer, none of them boast the rabid following of the humulus lupulus, or hops. West Michigan Beer Tours, in collaboration with JW Marriott Grand Rapids, Hop Head Farms, of Hickory Corners, Walldorff Brewpub & Bistro, of Hastings, and Founders Brewing Co., of Grand Rapids, will offer a unique immersion into the exciting season with our Hop Harvest Beer Tour.
Registration for the Hop Harvest Beer Tour will be held from 11 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Aug. 29 at the Six.One.Six restaurant inside the JW Marriott Grand Rapids. The bus will depart at noon for Hop Head Farms, a 30-acre farm in Hickory Corners outside of Kalamazoo that is growing and providing hops for breweries all over the country, as well as internationally. Several Michigan breweries will provide samples of their beer using hops from Hop Head Farms to be tasted as part of the unique tour of the hop fields and processing equipment.
“This is a rare opportunity to get a look into what happens to bring our hops to harvest. We do not offer public tours during harvest because of the sheer busyness of the time. We have only a few short weeks to get all of the hops down, picked and dried at their peak maturity. Our facility is the only of it’s kind in the United States, German engineered and chosen to handle our hops to result in the best end product,” Hop Head Farms co-founder Bonnie Steinman said.
After Hop Head Farms, the bus, with Bonnie Steinman on board to answer questions about hops, heads to the Walldorff Brewpub & Bistro in Hastings where brewer Brett Hammond frequently uses Hop Head Farms hops, including in Walldorff’s Harvest Ale. We’ll deliver fresh hops to Hammond. Guests will receive samples or a pint, as well as a tour of the production space.
The trip also visits Founders Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids, a frequent collaborator with Hop Head Farms, before returning to the JW Marriott Grand Rapids at approximately 6:30 p.m.
Tickets for the tour are on sale now. They are $69 for the standard ticket, which includes samples or a pint at Hop Head Farms, Founders and Walldorff, or $85 for premium tickets, which includes everything from the standard ticket as well as a beer at the JW Marriott during registration, a logo’d pint glass from Hop Head Farms and a West Michigan Beer Tours T-shirt.
For more information, go to www.westmichiganbeertours.com/tour.