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.
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