HOPPED UPSTATE: RISE OF HOP FARMING IN NEW YORK
HOPPED UPSTATE is a video project following the rise of hop farming in New York state. Over the last decade, the country has seen an enormous shift in beer consumption from the mass-marketed ”American” lagers made by large macrobreweries like Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors to dynamic, flavorful, home-grown brews created by small, region-specific microbreweries. New York itself ranks in the top three states with the fasting growing craft beer industry. It’s been called a “bright spot” in the economy and the rapid growth is expected to continue well into the future.
In 2012, Governor Cuomo and the state legislature started taking necessary steps to support craft brewers and farmers by passing the Farm Brewery Act, which includes tax incentives and other benefits to give financial relief to burgeoning breweries. The legislation also requires that 20% of ingredients used by breweries must come from NYS farms, and that will increase eventually to 90%.
In response to the Farm Brewery law, Dave Pasick is starting a hops yard on his family farm in Utica, NY. Feeling confident that Upstate New York’s craft beer scene will continue growing, he’s hoping it will create a new market for hops needed by local breweries. Dave is now onto his second growing season and is not only looking to produce a larger harvest this year, but to be a part of a budding economic movement in his rural hometown. Watch the full documentary below. Click here for the trailer and additional footage.
Since the launch of the film, HOPPED UPSTATE has been used as an advocacy tool for small farms. Media coverage and screenings of the film throughout New York State have lead to increased awareness about the needs of small farms and the growing hop industry. The film has also been used to educate new farmers about the challenges of starting a hop yard and navigating the Farm Brewery Law.