In a news release, The Bronx Brewery today announced a partnership with The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG), a number of Bronx-based community gardens, and the Cornell Cooperative Extension on an Urban Hop Project, bringing hop growing to New York City.
A group of Bronx community gardens, including in NYBG’s Bronx Green-Up program, have planted 125 Cascade hop plants this spring to be grown and harvested for a special Urban Hop beer. The beer will be brewed and released by The Bronx Brewery later this year. “I’m very excited to work with these community gardeners and develop a beer that spotlights the local character of these hops,” said Head Brewer Damian Brown in the release.
Proceeds from the sale of the Urban Hop beer will be donated to the Bronx Green-Up program to support continued growth of community gardening in the Bronx.
“Bronx Green-Up is extremely grateful to The Bronx Brewery for their planned donation,” said Ursula Chanse, Director of Bronx Green-Up. “The funds will help [the program’s] efforts to support urban gardeners by providing valuable growing information and planting materials, keeping the community gardens beautiful and viable.”
New York State was once the largest hop producing state in the country, providing nearly 90 percent of the hops back in the 1880s. Reviving that industry and bringing renewed interest in local sourcing for this ingredient has been the mission of Steve Miller, a hop expert from the Cornell Cooperative Extension, who held a hop growing and harvesting workshop for the gardeners. He is pictured along with Damian and some of the gardeners in the photo here.
“When Damian and Chris [Gallant, General Manager of The Bronx Brewery] asked me to be involved I said yes right away. What a great idea to capture the flavor of New York City,” Miller said. “The gardeners are all excited because hops are such an unusual crop. We have a new industry starting up all over the state, bringing endless nuances of flavor to New York beers and now we even have hops in the Big Apple. I can’t wait to try the end product!”