Champlain Valley Hops grows and processes premium hops for craft brewers. We strive to bring products from soil to kettle with integrity and transparency.
Our hops are grown on a loamy sand that sits on terraces above the valley bottom. These well-drained, flat, rock-free terraces are unique to eastern Addison county. They’re a kind-of hidden treasure in Vermont’s rolling hills, and ideal for growing hops. As the foundation of our business, we put great value on the structural and biological health of these beautiful soils.
Quality in Processing
Hop harvest is kind of like launching a rocket; there is a lot of careful planning, it goes by really fast, and you only have one chance to get it right. When we determine that they are ready for harvest, hops are picked and sorted within an hour of leaving the field, and dried by the next morning. The equipment that we use is specialized and very cool! Want an earful? Ask about our German Wolf 280 hop picker.
Integrated Pest Management
We like to refer to IPM as common sense farming. It means that we use every tool at our disposal to keep plants healthy, and don’t rely too heavily on any one method. Instead of a reactive approach to pest management, our strategies for nurturing healthy plants started before the plants were in the ground. A well-drained soil type allows a for drier microclimate, disease-tolerant plant varieties are naturally robust, and extra-wide plant spacing allows for excellent airflow through the yard. Weather forecasting based on hop-specific models allow us to plan for high-risk events and apply well-researched protective products.
We’re so excited about our process and we love to share it with our customers. Please get in touch and make a time to visit the farm at any point in the growing season. One of our favorite traditions of hops growers in Yakima, the capital of U.S. hop production, is hop selection. Each fall, brewers from all over the country make a pilgrimage to see, feel, and smell the year’s harvest. It is known that hops have unique characteristics based on where they were grown and what year they were produced (fancy term: “terroir”) - in fall 2019, we will host a lot selection where you can experience our harvest and find not only your favorite variety, but your favorite corner of the field!