The First Steps

Hey everyone! The folks here at Round Table Hops want to be able to keep everyone updated on what we’re doing out here in Forest Lake this summer, and so we are hoping to use this blog as a tool to keep you all connected with our going-ons, what we want you guys to know about, and also the events where we need to see each of your faces. We are excited to get growing, and look forward to hearing back about what you are thinking about (ideas, comments, any good jokes…), so be sure to keep us in the loop too!

But first, an introduction:

Round Table Hops believes in sustainability and local ingredients promoting local economies. Craft beer promotes a sense of community that we want to be a part of. We plan to grow hops in a state-of-the-art active solar greenhouse using hydroponics to produce yields much greater than traditional growing methods. Bees will naturally pollinate our plants, in order to contribute to the declining bee population as well as save some dollars on pollination! A huge part of our goal is the ability to eventually provide year-round hops for year-round drinkers (Hello, everyone who loves a good craft brew). When we are operating at full capacity, we will be able to distribute our product (Fresh Hops, Pellet Hops, Honey, General Good Vibes) using online ordering, and in-person delivery (read: small orders will be delivered by bike)

We believe that in any system there is always a better way to do something and Round Table Hops wants to use this mentality to revolutionize the brewing industry. We are using a combination of sustainable technologies to form a new growing system enabling increased yields, year-round growing potential, and improved efficiency (Reduced Carbon Footprint, say what?!)

The greenhouse and hydroponic system we are proposing will harness the ability of soil to store BTUs released by the sun to keep an ambient temperature year-round (Even in a polar vortex).  When the greenhouse becomes warmer than the external air, air enters the system warm and moist and comes out cool and dry, leaving the moisture and heat energy in the soil. When the greenhouse air gets colder than the soil (e.g., winter nights), the fan pumps cool air through the ground and it comes out warmer and moister.

 In 2011, Minnesota was the 2nd fastest growing craft beer market in the nation. In one year alone it produced enough for each Minnesotan to drink 13 pints (What?!).  Local hops growers can’t keep up.  Today, the ingredients of “local beers” are not locally sourced. Our business will provide year-round hops that can be made to order; our ability to manipulate growing conditions enables us to provide specialty hops year-round.

The weather has set us back a little in terms of construction, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t busy. The bees have already been hived, and the greenhouse work is underway. We will have each of us introduce ourselves later on, and stay tuned for a post about the hiving process (it was awesome, you’re gonna want to read it).

Construction in Forest Lake in Early Spring

But until then, sit back- sip a craft beer and be sure to share our blog with your friends and family to help us spread the word (and excitement) about locally sourced and sustainably grown Hops.

Round Table Hops

Some early morning Beer-Staches