All Things Maine
All Things Maine

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Paris View Hop Shop

Rick Courcy has started growing hops on his farm in Paris.
The crop was once common in the East. "Hops used to grow in almost every farmer's backyard," said John Harker, at the Maine Department of Agriculture. In the 1920s though, a downy mildew blight along the eastern coast pushed hops production west. Now, most hops in the United States are grown in the dry valleys of the Pacific Northwest. "To my knowledge, there is no one else growing commercially" in the state, Harker said.

Oddly enough, the man who is bringing about the return of the commercial hops farm to Maine isn't even a gardener. He's a retired mechanic from Massachusetts, and the closest he ever came to gardening was the potted tomatoes he kept on his deck.

"Pretty much the reason we did this whole thing is that my dad saw a Bud commercial," explained Courcy's son, Rik. [Link (reg. req.)]
You can order six varieties of hops by the ounce on the Paris View Farm website.

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