Anybody there?!

Hey! It's been a hot minute since we checked in. As always we are working hard in our pilot greenhouse, hopefully with an end in sight! We are currently looking for land around the metro to start construction on our commercial sized greenhouse (stay tuned for more exciting details). We are so excited that we won't be building this one all on our own... seriously, Ben is through the roof. Even though we all know how much fun he had last time. 

Thank goodness this phase of our lives is long gone!

Thank goodness this phase of our lives is long gone!

Our commercial greenhouse will be much larger, and we hope to have it ready to go next year. This is much later than we had estimated even in the last 6 months, but weather, fundraising and other unforeseen obstacles have set us back (only in construction timeline, we are still having a very successful pilot growing season).

While we were away (only figuratively) we ran a very successful Kickstarter last fall, which has been incredibly helpful moving our dream forward. Over 100 people gave to our campaign, and we made a whole crop of new friends. We can't thank those people enough. Not only the folks who gave money, but also those who told their friends, their moms and their bosses about us. We are so grateful for the support we gathered last fall, and we are working hard to make sure that this business makes the craft brewing industry even stronger and more localized. We want each person to be able to order a beer and know where the hops came from, and we hope that at least some of them come from us. We are so profoundly thankful to all of our friends and family for making this dream one step closer to a reality. 

Seriously. Thank you. Watch for our new page  to get a list of those superstars who gave money, and the street team who pushed our name into all the corners of the beer drinking universe. 

Speaking of Hops: Those are our hops! Touching the ceiling of a 20 foot peak! In late June! And if you look closely, you will see lots and lots of little flowers that will become big hop cones.

So, see? Even though we have been quiet lately, it is only because we are working very hard to push Round Table Hops to the next step.  So here we go. 

Cheers, 

Ben, Erin, Mike and Ted

Kickstarter Press Release

Press Release 10/26/2015

Round Table Hops: Where Beer Grows

PASSION FOR COMMUNITY DRIVES FOUR FRIENDS TO AN INCREDIBLE DISCOVERY. NOW THEY ARE READY TO CHANGE CRAFT BEER FOREVER.

 

When you are passionate about an idea, innovation often comes easy. Three years ago, Ben Vaughn realized something he was passionate about was in danger: craft beer. Beer cannot be made without hops. But with the boom of craft breweries, hop farmers have struggled to keep up - until now. “I saw everyone trying to fix this problem by doing things the same. That doesn’t work. I knew there needed to be a fundamental change - a challenge to the status quo,” said Vaughn. But innovating in a century old industry never comes easy.

“I knew it would be hard, but I wasn’t prepared for the amount of skepticism I received. Despite nobody actually having tried it, very few people thought it was possible. I realized this was something I would need to actually prove.”

 

He founded the company Round Table Hops, assembled a team of experts, and designed and built the world's first 4-season hydroponic hop greenhouse. “We can grow more hops in less time with fewer resources,” said Vaughn. “Even we were surprised by how well it works. We were not expecting this level of success this quickly.”

This technology opens up limitless possibilities for local breweries and gives this struggling industry a chance to keep up with the craft beer boom. “These hops look almost too perfect” said Dan Banks of Day Block Brewing Company.

Their prototype greenhouse proves the technology and gives brewers access to samples but can’t provide enough hops to make a real difference. Now they are looking to expand into a larger facility and are looking to the craft beer community to make it happen. “With most of us having sizable student loan debt, we have taken the project as far as we can alone. And the whole project is about strengthening the Minnesota craft beer community anyways, so kickstarter seemed obvious,” say Vaughn. The proposed facility will be 3 acres in size capable of producing 200,000 lbs of fresh Minnesota hops each year. It will also be complete with a processing and distribution center, the first in the region. 

Kickstarter is a crowdfunding site that sources smaller amounts of money from larger groups of people. With donations as little as $5,  Round Table Hops generated $7,000 in the first 24 hours of their campaign. “Without having a specific tangible product, we didn’t know how the beer community would react. At this point it is clear people are passionate about local craft beer and are ready to get involved in making it better,” says Vaughn. The outlook looks good but they are not home free yet. Kickstarter works on an all-or-nothing funding model so if Round Table Hops doesn’t reach the $25,000 goal, they walk away with nothing.

Be sure to check out Round Table Hops on Kickstarter.com, tell your friends, and be among the first join their movement for better beer.

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If you’d like more information about Round Table Hops and their hydroponic hop greenhouse, or to schedule an interview with Ben, please email him atRoundTableHops@gmail.com, call him at 651-272-6571 or send us a Tweet @RoundTableHops