Saranac Hop Harvest 2012


The sun feels hot on my back as the sticky bines cling to my fingers. It’s calm and meditative work, picking hops by hand, no doubt very much the way it was done years ago, when these heirloom varieties were first harvested.  Fresh resinous smells waft up towards my face, as I watch the hop cones drop into the basket in front of me, one by one. I look around at smiling faces, long tables lined with volunteers, all happy to be a part of the harvest.

harvesting hopswrobel farms - bridgewater, nybushel of hops

We pick Cascade and Heirloom varieties.  You can hear the pride in his voice as Jim Wrobel recounts the long history his family has with this land.  Hop strains that have grown at this site since the 1860’s.  I feel lucky to be here, less than 20 miles from the Brewery, these hops won’t have to travel far before they become part of Saranac’s Wet Hop IPA.

hops from szaro farms

On the horizon, the sun rests heavy on rolling hills as we gather in front of the century old hop kiln, standing tall and wide like a shepherd over his flock.  We smile and raise our glasses to the bounty of this years harvest and the beer that it will make.

saranac truck at wrobel farms

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Categories: Craft Breweries

Author:Amy Ellsworth

Amy Ellsworth is The Craft Beer Girl. Follow her as she discovers the world of craft beer through brewery tours, beer festivals, reviews and homebrewing. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook, and .


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3 Comments on “Saranac Hop Harvest 2012”

  1. August 30, 2012 at 1:06 PM #

    Nice simple writeup to capture the essence of the event. Nice pics and I love the lead in image with the text over the hops. I don’t have those skills yet.

    That was my first hop harvest and man, was I blown away by the experience! So amazed by it that I wrote 3 posts about it on my blog.

    • August 30, 2012 at 1:11 PM #

      Thanks Joe, More often than not I’m better with pictures than words… I loved reading your blog posts about the harvest though, you captured so many details of the day… so great for people that can’t make it to the live event!

      See ya next year!


  1. A Year of Craft Beer: 2012 in Review | the Craft Beer Girl - January 11, 2013

    […] place to spend a summer night with friends. In August, Ryan and I traveled to Wrobel Farms for the Saranac Hop Harvest, where we picked Cascade and heirloom hops for their Wet Hop IPA. Afterwards we traveled out to […]

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