Beer, and brewing specifically, is considered by many as an art form. The term 'craft beer' itself has a certain prideful ring to it. The passion and dedication of the industry drives a sense of belonging to something much bigger than any of us could be on our own. Art, after all, isn't much of anything unless it is shared and appreciated by others. In May of 2015, we at Round Table Hops got the opportunity to be a part of that connection in a way we ourselves hadn't considered.
We as an organization were at an all time high in May. We had successfully grown and harvested the worlds first off-season hop harvest. After being grown all winter, those hops were sent to Big Wood Brewery in White Bear Lake, MN and were used in the worlds first commercial spring fresh-hopped beer. Big Wood Brewery hosted an event and we got to showcase our hops in 4 of their beers. This to us was the reason we stated this company; to devote ourselves to the bringing together of people and ideas through better beer.
As the celebrations and high-fives subsided, we all knew we had to get back to work. The success of our first harvest really only meant one thing... There was a hell of a lot more work to do. So things got back to normal as we trudged along doing all the things one needs to do in starting a company. It was at this point that I received a call from a woman. She said her name was Angela and she was a jewelry designer from Pennsylvania and she had a strange request. She had been commissioned by the New York State Historical Society to create several pieces of jewelry from the imprint of hops and that her methods only work with fresh plant material. I was flabbergasted! Even in the age of technology and communication it's incredibly unlikely that she would have ended up with my phone number! She explained that she had called dozens of places around the United States and nobody had any fresh hops. I explained that hops are harvested in the fall and nobody would have fresh hops for several months EXCEPT for us and it's such freaking good timing that I could hardly believe it!
We ended up sending her cones and leaves from our Cascade variety which she turned into "The Cascade Collection" and included necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and pins. More about the collection can be found at http://bit.ly/1N7NOI1. It was a smashing success that we are so proud to have been a part of.
The reason we at Round Table Hops find this so incredible isn't the amazing jewelry (which it is!) or our unique ability to offer something nobody else could. We are most excited by the fact that this is simply a sign of things to come. As we in the industry continue to push the boundaries on technology we discover doors that have never existed before. We are able to make connections that would otherwise never have been possible. It is so exciting to see the ripple effect of dedication and innovation effect realms outside our own. To have allowed the art of craft beer to expand beyond its traditional scope and contribute to the production of a completely different art form is a magical thing. We cannot wait to see what the future holds.
For more info on Viela Jewlery, please visit their website http://www.vielajewelry.com/