Arkansas Craft Beer: Hops Workshop, August 15, Clarksville

Hops varieties growing at the Fruit Research Station in Clarksville. Photo: University of Arkansas
The first Arkansas Hops Workshop will present hops research on Thursday, August 15 at the Fruit Research Station, 1749 Arkansas Highway 818.
More than 80 varieties of hops are grown commercially, with even more in evaluation trials.

“With the Arkansas craft beer brewing industry quadrupling in recent years, local breweries are in constant need of hops as a main ingredient in their beer,” said Amanda McWhirt, commercial horticulture crop specialist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “We are working to find the right hops and the right hop-growing techniques to enable Arkansas brewers to use locally sourced hops.”

McWhirt is part of the Division of Agriculture’s three-member hops research team, which includes Jackie Lee, director of the Fruit Research Station at Clarksville and Renee Threlfall, a research scientist in food science.

The workshop begins at 2 p.m. and runs to 7 p.m. There’s a $20 early bird registration fee with an Aug. 13 registration deadline. After Aug. 13, the fee is $30. Register online at https://uaex.formstack.com/forms/hops.

The agenda will include varietal research and production strategies including trellising options and pruning dates as well as a grower panel discussion with Larry Galligan, Riverside Specialty Farms; Ronnie Ledford, River Valley Hops; and Brother Basil of the Subiaco Monastery.

“We will be showing 6 different varieties’ growth and development,” McWhirt said. “We do see some big differences in vigor between varieties.”

Attendees will also learn about how different pruning dates affect growth and how hops plants are trained and harvested.


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