First Regional Hops Processing Facility Opens in WNC: Echoview Farm Takes Hops from Bine to Brew, Sustainably

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North Carolina home brewers and full-scale breweries alike can rejoice at the news that a one-stop-shop for hops processing, Echoview Farm, is now open right in their backyard.

Echoview Farm recently announced the opening of their hops processing facility. Located just north of Asheville, Echoview is home to all the equipment and expertise necessary to take hops from bine to brew. It is the only facility of its kind on the East Coast.

Echoview Farm provides services for every step of the hops lifecycle. Located on 75 acres of land, Echoview grows their own hops through an eco-friendly technique that does not use insecticides or heavy minerals. Once the hops are ready, they are harvested and dried in Echoview’s own oasts, or drying rooms. From there the hops are pelletized, analyzed and sealed in food grade Mylar bags.

This whole process takes place in less than 1 mile radius and is truly as local as hops processing can get.

Part of the unique appeal of the facility is the equipment used to transform the delicate hops plants into pellets which enables the hops to be easily transported and stored. Lawson Mills, a family-owned Canadian company, manufactures the Pelletizer that is used in the hops processing at Echoview.

“Hops are very light and fluffy, and shipping them any distance is very expensive due to bulk," said Paul Lawson, from Lawson Mills. “We redesigned the roller and die to pelletize the hops without generating the heat that would have affected flavor. It cut shipping and handling costs and made it easier for the brewers as well.”

Another feature of Echoview’s hop processing is the onsite high-tech analysis of each batch of hops.

“Echoview provides on-site analyses of the alpha acids and beta acids in the hops,” said Stacy Wilson, Farm Manager at Echoview Farm. “We provide this information to the brewer and they use it for their formula and beer creation.”

Echoview has the ability to process their own as well as other growers hops. Additionally, Echoview’s hops can be purchased in quantities suitable for home-brewing or brewing on a larger scale.

Echoview’s hops have been used by many breweries such as: Holy City Brewery and Weeping Radish, North Carolina’s oldest microbrewery.

“We’ve waited a long time for the opportunity to use local hops,” says Weeping Radish owner Uli Bennewitz. “Also I believe that this is the first beer ever with the coveted 'Goodness Grows in NC' logo from the Department of Agriculture on the label."

For more information on Echoview Farm and their eco-friendly hops processing services please visit: http://farm.echoviewnc.com/ .

About Echoview Farm

Echoview Farm’s mission is to demonstrate that sustainable agriculture can work in western North Carolina and beyond. The types of hops grown on Echoview Farm include Cascade, Nugget, Tettnanger and Chinook. Educational opportunities and farm tours are available to the public. To find out more about Echoview’s Hops initiatives please visit http://farm.echoviewnc.com/ .

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Kimberly Daggerhart
JB Media Group LLC
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