Our History in Hops

Although much of our tillable land has been dedicated to growing traditional crops (corn, soybean and hay), we decided to pursue a specialty crop to help us diversify and put some inactive land to good use.  After carefully researching alternatives that would fill a need for a locally grown product – and with the assistance of our awesome friend, Amy ForsthoefelAmy_LMF – we ventured into growing hops in 2014.  We constructed two small hop yards totaling approximately one acre, and planted hop varieties we thought would both be popular with craft brewers and thrive in the Ohio climate.  These varieties included:  Nugget, Chinook, Crystal and Cascade.

For several years, we offered primarily whole cone, fresh hops to both home and local craft brewers.  Harvested at their peak of freshness from mid-August through early September, Little Miami Farms’ hops were hand-picked to ensure the highest quality cones were selected.  Any hops we didn’t sell fresh were dried on-site in a custom-built drying oast that used forced air at ambient temperature in order to maintain the highest quality flavor and aromas, and minimize lupulin loss from agitating the cones.  These dried hops were then properly packaged to be sold at a later date.

Concurrent to growing hops, we started to expand into growing produce for commercial sales.  Soon, craft brewers were requesting some of these items – such as butternut squash and beets – for use in their specialty brews.  Eventually, our growing focus and efforts started to shift more towards growing produce, plants and pumpkins and less on hops.  In 2024, we made the decision to stop growing hops for commercial sales.  However, we are thankful to continue supporting craft brewers with our other locally grown products.

hop cone wreathWe are also thankful and proud to be among the first hop growers to help launch the Ohio Hop Growers Guild (OHGG), which supports the increasing number of hop growers around Ohio, establishes quality and processing standards to ensure consistency of product, grower efficiency, and build awareness and demand for the high quality products of the Ohio hops industry.  We are fortunate to have met so many wonderful hop growers dedicated to keeping it local – #brewlocal – and we wish them all the best!

hop picking 2019_2

If you are considering growing hops, we are happy to share what we’ve learned!  Feel free to contact us / or call Jamie Arthur:  937-532-9569.

Little Miami Farms – Hops Events

Little Miami Farms – In the News

Winter, 2018 – Hops Production Picking Up in Ohio

Fall, 2016 – Growing Hops in Ohio

July 1, 2016 – Beer and Beyond: How Dayton’s booming craft beer industry goes deeper than you might think

June 13, 2016 – Ohio Hops Podcast

June 1, 2016 – Farm to Stein