Condzella’s Farm got hops.
Cascade and Mt. Hood, precisely.
The family-operated, Wading River-based farm, spanning 20 acres and currently within its third generation of aliveness, produces asparagus, pumpkins, raspberries, and strawberries.
Now they got hops, too.
John Condzella planted one acre of hop rhizomes (roots cut from a mature Humulus lupulus’ central system and used to cultivate newsies) in March 2011, after researching climate conditions for different varieties. Selecting Cascade and Mt. Hood, Condzella harvested his first wet batch (wet hops are whole cones used immediately following post-pluck, to ensure the flower’s peak) on August 10.
“I was always interested in craft beer, and I saw an opportunity to supply something to our local brewers,” said Condzella.
Forty pounds of Condzella’s initial Cascade harvest were acquired by Port Jeff Brewing Company and used to brew an unnamed, wet-hopped pale ale on August 10.
The first-year harvest continues on August 11-12 (both shifts are 9:00AM-5:00PM and public-open).