Wednesday, May 8 – The Cedar Falls Rough Risers learned to “Hop to It!” today. Our friend Keri Byrum, explained the beginnings and the workings of their Cedar Falls Hops Company located on their family’s farm west of town. She and her husband got hopped up to this endeavor in 2017 on a 7-acre portion farm set-aside to grow premium grade “cascade” hops for the Iowa craft brewing community. They knew they were on the rye-ght track.
She said that the most difficult part of the hop business is the marketing of the ingredient, because they barley make it. Keri explained that hops are related to the apple family and it is extremely labor intensive to grow them; but that characteristic did not sober their spirits. She brought some hop pellet samples and passed them around. They passed the smell test for the lupulin oils that gives beer that unique aroma and flavor beer lovers enjoy. Keri explained that all brewers use hops to make beer, but some use oranges once in a blue moon.
This provided a new perspective on beer and how it is brewed. Thank you, Keri.
Written by Lynn Barnes