By now, most people are aware of the exploding craft beer movement that has been sweeping through the United States over the past few years. Long Island is certainly no exception, and for two North Fork residents, a love of beer and farming is the perfect recipe for a new venture that is at the heart of the craft beer industry.
For Andrew and Jaclyn Tralka, what Long Island has been missing are locally sourced ingredients. After all, take even a short walk anywhere on the North Fork and you're guaranteed to trip over a grapevine. Enter the one-acre hop farm on the grounds of the Van Bourgondien family farm.
"We're trying to cultivate the local craft beer movement from the ground up by growing local hops to help create a truly local craft beer," says Andrew.
So far their efforts have only yielded about 100 pounds of hops, most of which have been sold direct to home brewers. But as the vines grow to the top of the 20-foot trellises, so does the yield, and next year the Tralkas hope to harvest about 1,000 pounds of hops. Where they'll end up, however, is hard to say.
Right now they're selling wet hops (which need to be used right away, making them hard to come by in regions that don't grow their own) to Brooklyn Homebrew, a retail store on 8th Street in Brooklyn. Though it's hard to ignore the possibility we might see a brewery pop up on the grounds at some point over the next few years.
For more information check out Farm to Pint's Facebook page.