Help pick the hops crop at Arvada's Voss Farms

Categories: Beer Man

Arvada's Voss Farms is looking for volunteers to harvest its hops -- and whoever shows up will be able to brag about how they helped supply some serious flavor for Black Shirt Brewing (opening in September), Wynkoop Brewing, Strange Brewing and Arvada Beer, all of which will use the hops in their beers.

"This will be a huge harvest for them," says Branden Miller, co-founder of Black Shirt, which is buying 90 percent of the farm's output, or roughly 300 pounds of hops.

Voss only has one acre of hops, which makes it difficult -- or impossible -- to make a profit on the hops even though Black Shirt is paying more than twice the going rate for the plant, which runs around $7 a pound. "He does it because he loves it, and we're doing it because when you want to create beer de terroir, you've got to do what you got to do." Black Shirt is trying to buy as many local ingredients as possible.

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All of the hops will be vacuum packed and stored in Black Shirt's cold room, where it will be used over the course of the year to dry-hop its beers. Most beers are made from hops that have been ground down and pelletized, which makes brewing easier. Voss doesn't have pelletizing equipment, however, so the whole hops cones are used.

Voss will pick its Centennial and Willamette varieties on August 3 from 5 to 10 p.m.; August 4 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and August 5 from 8 a.m. to noon. (Check the Voss Facebook page" target="_blank">farm's Facebook page to make sure Sunday session will take place). RSVP for directions to

It will harvest Chinook and Cascade hops on August 10 from 5 to 10 p.m.; August 11 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and August 12 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Check the Voss Facebook page" target="_blank">farm's Facebook page to make sure Sunday session will take place). RSVP for directions to

The work isn't hard, according to Voss, just repetitive -- and it is done indoors since the bines will be cut down before the hops are picked.

Pickers will get a t-shirt, free beer (from Black Shirt and Odell) and good karma. There will be horseshoes and darts after the picking is done. For updates and to check to see whether harvesting will take place on Sundays, go to the Voss Facebook page.

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Thanks for the blog posting.    We are getting many people interested in coming out to help pick the hops.   Someday we'll get a small picking machine and all of this hand picking might be referred to as 'the golden age".  :)   


The weekend of August 10, 11,and 12 still has room for more volunteers because we have so many Chinook and Cascade reaching maturity then.  2012 has an earlier harvest schedule than past years (we've been growing for 4 years) due to the early spring.   If any homebrewers come help pick and want some fresh hops to make some beer nouveau, we will gladly provide them with enough for a batch.



We don't actually work with or provide hops to Strange Brewing ..... I hear they are great through and hope to visit their tap room this fall .  

Our other 2012 brewing partner is Dostal Alley Brewing in Central City.  Dostal Alley Brewmasters Dave and Buddy are hosting the Great Central City Beer Fest on August 18 and Voss Farms will be providing some of our hop bines to them.


Thanks again,

Andrew Voss



this is the coolest little farm, the owner has an amazing passion and is a great guy to lift a pint with

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