A Hopping Good Time At Blue Mountain Brewery : 8.3.10

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Photo By Tommy Stafford : ©2010 www.nelsoncountylife.com : Taylor Smack, co-owner of Blue Mountain Brewery, shows off just a small portion of the hops harvested Monday during their Annual Hop Picking Day at the brewery. Click any photo to enlarge.
Photo By Tommy Stafford : ©2010 www.nelsoncountylife.com : Taylor Smack, co-owner of Blue Mountain Brewery, shows off just a small portion of the hops harvested Monday during their Annual Hop Picking Day at the brewery. Click any photo to enlarge.

Afton
Nelson County, Virginia

Mother Nature cooperated perfectly this year for the Annual Hop Picking Day at Blue Mountain Brewery. “This is our 4th year of harvesting and we decided to open it up to the public. We gave away a free sandwich and a side for everyone that came by and helped us out. We had somewhere around 100 people,” said Taylor Smack, co-owner of Nelson’s first microbrewery in Afton, Virginia.

Chad Dean of Blue Mountain Brewery moves a batch of hop vines Monday afternoon.
Chad Dean of Blue Mountain Brewery moves a batch of hop vines Monday afternoon.

“We’ve got 10 times more than we’ve ever had having Stan Driver, a professional horticulturalist, come on board with us. He knew better what to do so we could spend time focusing on brewing the beer,” Taylor continues.

Stan Driver, owner of Riverside Nursery in Nellysford, makes a path through the hopyard for harvesting.
Stan Driver, owner of Riverside Nursery in Nellysford, makes a path through the hopyard for harvesting.
Chad & Stan remove freshly harvested hops from a trailer.
Chad & Stan remove freshly harvested hops from a trailer.
Countless people covered the deck at Blue Mountain Monday afternoon to pick the hops from the vines.
Countless people covered the deck at Blue Mountain Monday afternoon to pick the hops from the vines.

“Probably 30-40% of everything used Monday will be used in a special Cascade Tribute Ale. It’s a tribute to the cascade hops. 30 years as an American beer,” Taylor explained. The rest of the hops will be dried and vacuum sealed for use later in additional beers like the Full Nelson.

Folks continue picking hops from the vines Monday afternoon. The response was so good the day finished well ahead of schedule.
Folks continue picking hops from the vines Monday afternoon. The response was so good the day finished well ahead of schedule.

Blue Mountain Brewery opened to the public in October 2007 as Nelson’s first microbrewery. It was followed a year later by the opening of Devils Backbone Brewing in Roseland (Beech Grove) in November 2008. The next microbrewery will join the first two in the coming months. Wild Wolf Brewing in Nellysford has setup a temporary shop with permanent construction beginning soon.

And there’s even more coming down the pike. Virginia Distillery Company in Lovingtson poured concrete in late July. They will be opening in the coming months as well!

Hang on Nelson, even more to come we can’t tell you about it just yet!

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