Jesse and I headed down to Asheville, NC for the 3rd Annual South Atlantic Hops Conference. If you haven't made the trip to Mills River to see Sierra Nevada yet, what are you waiting for? It is the most beautiful brewery I've ever seen anywhere...worldwide. Asheville is a neat place, and it's obviously overflowing with plenty of great breweries of all shapes and sizes.
They asked me to speak at the conference this year, so I wanted to give a brewer's perspective to the audience (primarily small, Mid-Atlantic hop growers). While the regional hop growing industry is in its infancy, I think most growers are failing to capitalize on the few strengths they have. I also wanted to point out some very important hop quality lessons for brewers. Check out part 1 of my presentation below to see what I mean.
I also wanted to make sure these folks were fully aware of some of the significant challenges brewers and large-scale hop growers are currently dealing with; a massive over-supply of hops and a rapidly slowing craft beer industry. These things are obviously related, but there are some other factors as well. I wrote about this a bit in a blog post last year, but check out part 2 of my AsheVegas presentation below for more details.
I'm very happy to report that the conference will be in Blacksburg, VA next year (Go Hokies!) and I strongly encourage more brewers to attend this important annual conference.