Homebrewer Hop Harvest

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At the beginning of July, we announced our first-ever Wet Hopped Homebrewing Contest. We offered up the opportunity for a lucky few homebrewers to join us and harvest hops at a local hop farm. But we weren’t simply asking them to give us free manual labor; as former homebrewers ourselves, we wanted to give these enthusiasts an opportunity to experiment with an ingredient that is hard to come by: juicy, wet hops.

Our homebrewing followers were eager for the opportunity. We received 94 entries to the contest. With the available yield at the small farm, we were only able to choose eight winners.

It was a challenge to select the winners. All of the answers and pleas were read; at the end of the day, the winners were chosen based on their love of the experimental nature of brewing. Because wet-hopped brewing is so tricky and inexact, it was the entrants who expressed their flexibility that were invited for this harvest.

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The “Great Eight” as they dubbed themselves, joined us on a sweltering August day and hand-picked chinook and centennial hops, all the while smiling, sweating and toasting Victory. See for yourself…

John, one of The Great Eight, welcomed us to join him as he brewed up a batch of wet-hopped homebrew. Watch as he uses the whole flower wet hops from Fuzzydale Hop Farm.

We’d like to thank the “Great Eight” for joining us for this experimental event and thank Kyler Gretz for welcoming us at Fuzzydale Hop Farm and for sharing his hops with these enthusiastic brewers.

4 Responses to Homebrewer Hop Harvest

  1. John Bossong August 21, 2012 at 2:34 PM #


  2. Jeff B August 22, 2012 at 11:13 AM #

    It was a lot of fun – thanks for the opportunity!

  3. Brandon Hoff August 23, 2012 at 7:52 PM #

    I had a blast, just brewed with them the other day, can’t wait to see how it turned out. Great 8!!

  4. Alex Ullrich September 7, 2012 at 1:39 PM #

    A coworker told me today that he saw my picture here – I didn’t believe him at first. Hops have been sitting in my beer since the day after picking, hoping to bottle this weekend. Can’t wait to get a taste!

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European Tradition.


American Ingenuity.

The Victory Brewing Story

The story of Victory Brewing Company starts on a school bus in 1973 when fifth-graders Ron Barchet and Bill Covaleski stepped aboard, on their way to a new school. The two became fast friends and remained so, even as they grew up and went to college on opposite coasts. Just months out of college, Bill’s appreciation of good beer and access to his father’s home brewing equipment inspired him to explore the hobby. That same year (1985), Bill gave Ron a home brewing kit as a Christmas gift. With that, both Bill and Ron developed their love of the craft…
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