hopnology: Hop Growing and Brewing for Craft Beer-logo

hopnology: Hop Growing and Brewing for Craft Beer

Business & Economics Podcasts

Join us as we discuss hops in all forms from rhizomes to finished craft beer.

Join us as we discuss hops in all forms from rhizomes to finished craft beer.


United States


Join us as we discuss hops in all forms from rhizomes to finished craft beer.




#64: Mythbusters!

We thought about just doing a montage of James making faces at bad questions, meme-style, but instead we spent 45 minutes complaining about bull shoots, weekend warrior hop farming, a Toyota Camry Tractor and every other question that it feels like we’ve answered 1,000 times already.


#63: Reverie Brewing Pivots

Are you wondering about how your favorite brewery has adapted to the current environment and where they think things are heading? We were, so we got Reverie on the phone to check in. They’ve made some good moves and are looking to navigate through whatever comes next.


#62: Hops Aromas and Brewery Re-openings

There is so much going on in this episode. First we get into a long discussion of hop aroma sensory analysis, of course filtered through the Bionic Nose that we call James. Then there’s the future of taprooms and what we can expect to see once restrictions are lifted. Along the way we share Gregg’s […]


#61: Fungicides!

We’re heavy on the science this week, focusing on mildew. Protectants, curatives and Ridomil enemas, oh my!


#60: German Hops & Idling The Farm

When you think of German hops you likely think of Noble varieties and classic beer styles. Yet over the years the demands of the market have forced German hop farmers to move with the times, and the more modern varieties coming out of the region have tended toward high alpha and dual purpose hops. Speaking […]


#59: Non-Alcoholic Beer

This time it’s all about the non-alcoholic beer market and brewing process. Despite what you might expect from Captain Bringdown, we’re both actually pretty excited about where this part of the industry is heading. Let the day drinking commence!


#58: Financing

We’ve talked a lot about farming tools, but what about financial tools? There are so many efficiencies to be gained from having the right equipment and the most common rationale is “I can’t afford it so I’ll do it by hand”. This week we’ll review why there are some things you can’t afford *not* to […]


#57: Breaking Dormancy

If there’s one thing we all know about growing hops it’s that they’ll do what they want, when they want, regardless of what we’re up to. It’s getting warm out and that means that they are coming out of dormancy. They don’t care about sheltering in place, your dwindling supply of toilet paper or the […]


#56: Mountain View Hops is Back!

Mark returns to talk with us about measuring labor requirements, a topic that we’ve been focusing on a lot lately. We also get into balancing a day job with a hop farm and identifying the secondary hop markets that Mountain View Hops excels in.


#55: Our Take on Covid-19

Thought this was the one place you could escape the daily news cycle? Sorry. We look directly at what this could mean for growing and brewing in the near term. There will be impacts to supply, labor, pricing and relationships. Above all we just need to Be Smart and take care of each other.


#54: Elevator Speeches

It’s a question that comes up constantly: “How do I get Brewers to talk to me”? We go through some examples of how to get the conversation rolling, and even more fun, examples of things you can say to get shut down immediately.


#53: Hop Grower’s Association & Labor Costs

We start by digging into the HGA’s data about 2019, which takes us into a conversation around your farm’s cost structure and specifically labor costs. Along the way we get into changes at Lagunitas, James being bitter and we interview Mark from Mountain View Hops again (without him actually being there).


#52: Harvester Designs

We break down the mechanics of small and large scale harvesters, because if you know *why* it’s done this way it will help you to design the *how* to meet your needs.


#51: Trellis Wire & Cable Loads

Thanks to Chad for asking about seasonal tightening of trellis wire, we get deep into cable loads. This leads into a broader discussion of what else you can be doing during the non-growing season (there is no “off-season”, just a non-growing season). There’s No Relaxing in Hop Growing! For the heavy math involved there are […]


#50: Come Back to Lincoln

This week we check in with James for a blow-by-blow of his trip to the Nebraska Growers and Brewers Conference, which was in Kearney, not Lincoln. You’ll get the details of the presentations he gave and the reactions; it’s almost like being there (without the 2 hour rides back and forth from the airport). Here’s […]


#49: Happy Birthday to Us!

Today, Tuesday, 2/11, marks one year of podcasting madness from James and I. We’ve learned so much and made a lot of new friends (you!), so to celebrate we are re-posting our first show, “Who is hopnology?”. I think it definitely holds up the test of time. Our message and goals haven’t changed, though […]


#48: Cover Cropping & Companion Plants

As a follow up to last week’s talk on pre-emergents, how about a look at cover cropping and companion plants as other ways to keep the weeds at bay? Be sure to check out Instagram to see us meet the challenge of spider mite explosions and we apologize in advance to the wild parsnip growers.


#47: Your Need to Weed

Weeding might be the most frustration, time consuming and expensive aspect of your hop yard. The use of pre-emergents can drastically cut down (pun intended) on the hand work you’ll need to do in-season. This week we’ll dive into the what/when/why/how of proactively getting after your weeds.


#46: Pellet Problems and 2020 Trends

Pellet quality issues can impact your Brewer’s process – and therefore your ability to get a second sale. We’ll talk about pellet debris and then get into some trend predictions for the beer market in 2020 (spoiler: we don’t like many of them).


#45: Fireson Brewing, Where Are My Flowers? & Holy Stamen!

James just returned from Aruba so we hear about Aruba’s largest, smallest, only craft brewery: Fireson Brewing. We’ll also talk about a grower who had hops and then didn’t, and then I’ll critique James’ internal monologue while he’s channeling plants.