Quantcast

What hops were around in 1900...anyone remember?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

kilohertz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Messages
113
Reaction score
46
Location
Slightly left of Vernon BC
Hi guys,

Just curious if anybody has done any research on what variety of hops would have been available worldwide around late 1800's-1900. I imagine it wouldn't be that many. I have located an old hop yard that was planted in the late 1890's and there are still plants growing along the fences. Just wondering if they would be anything worth growing today?

Anybody?

Cheers
 

GilaMinumBeer

Half-fast Prattlarian
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
65,437
Reaction score
10,790
Hops were actually a cash crop prior to the 1900's. By 1904 they were being crossbred.

There were lots of varieties back then.
 

JonM

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2010
Messages
9,320
Reaction score
4,151
Location
Milwaukee
The first couple chapters of "Hops" spells it out. I don't have my copy in front of me, though.
 

B-Hoppy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2010
Messages
1,760
Reaction score
379
Location
ohio

DarkCoder

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2014
Messages
267
Reaction score
160
Location
Drummondville
Hi guys,

Just curious if anybody has done any research on what variety of hops would have been available worldwide around late 1800's-1900. I imagine it wouldn't be that many. I have located an old hop yard that was planted in the late 1890's and there are still plants growing along the fences. Just wondering if they would be anything worth growing today?

Anybody?

Cheers
Check that link and/or contact them. They should be able to help you a little bit for hops in BC. :)
 
OP
kilohertz

kilohertz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Messages
113
Reaction score
46
Location
Slightly left of Vernon BC
Thanks for the links guys, it will be good reading.

I went and dug up about 30 rhizomes today, some of the plants had trunks over 2" in diameter above the ground, huge monsters. I gave up on those big ones and moved to some of the smaller ones and got some nice fresh rhizomes. Found out also these folks moved here in 1896 from Ireland and am trying to contact the last known agricultural manager of the property, who is now in his 80's, to see if he remembers what variety(s) were growing.

Kind of fun...finding 100+ year old hops still thriving. I'm going to plant them away from the my main hop yard and see what they produce, make some beer and try to figure out what they could be.

Cool!! :ban:
 

JohnSand

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 13, 2013
Messages
4,883
Reaction score
2,210
Location
Long Island NY
Please post your results.
I've made a couple of very good beers with heirloom hops. A fellow brewer sent me some that his grandmother planted in the '40s. They were from upstate NY, I believe Cluster.
 
OP
kilohertz

kilohertz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Messages
113
Reaction score
46
Location
Slightly left of Vernon BC
The first couple chapters of "Hops" spells it out. I don't have my copy in front of me, though.
Sounds interesting, could you provide a little more detail, authors and/or ~date published? Would make the google search a little easier.

Please and thanks.
 

bowtie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2016
Messages
53
Reaction score
9
What i did when i didn't know the variety? I took some of my hops to my local home brew store. They let me smell and compare there hop collection to my homegrown until I made the match. then I knew I had Cascade, Chinook, Mt Hood, And Nugget!
 

unionrdr

Homebrewer, author & air gun collector
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 19, 2011
Messages
39,161
Reaction score
3,782
Location
Sheffield
This will be interesting to find out! Experimenting with old lager styles with my Hopped & Confused series, I've been trying to find out what hops were generally used in American lagers & pilsners from Victorian times up till about 1965. Cluster was definitely one of them. Maybe fuggle?
 
OP
kilohertz

kilohertz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Messages
113
Reaction score
46
Location
Slightly left of Vernon BC
So I just spoke with the ag manager of 50 years or so (retired) who is now over 80, and he can't recall ever hearing what variety were grown. All of the ancestors have long passed so he has no further connection. He took my name/number and said he would call if he ever finds out, or finds old documents or such to do with the property.

Right now the rhizomes are all in a tupper ware tub filled with loose soil, snow and water and covered with burlap until I can get the new row setup and poles planted. They should be fine for a few weeks like that. I have a large pile of snow stashed in the shade to keep them cooled off every few days.

All the snow is finally gone in the hop yard so now it's wait and see when the first shoots appear. Probably be a few more weeks. It's only 8-10C days and still 0 at night.

Cheers
 
OP
kilohertz

kilohertz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Messages
113
Reaction score
46
Location
Slightly left of Vernon BC
Spent several days looking through some archives to learn more about the history of BC hops. Here are a few pics of some hop yards back in the day, think this was around early 1900's and about 200 acres. Middle picture shows an oast house. Found out that there were many, many hop yards in BC back in the day. Cool! :mug:

IMG_1899.jpg


IMG_1898.jpg


IMG_1895.jpg
 

TeeJo

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 30, 2014
Messages
284
Reaction score
54
I can remember that there were hops still growing beside Hwy 1 outside of Chilliwack, IIRC, from the rare road trips down that way when we were kids, ca. the mid 70's through the early 80's.

I think it's all blueberries or cranberries now, if they didn't build a bunch of houses on the site.

TeeJo
 
OP
kilohertz

kilohertz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Messages
113
Reaction score
46
Location
Slightly left of Vernon BC
I did some more research and found the location of several more hop yards in BC from the 30's-40's, of course they are long gone and now have neighborhoods on them, but driving thru the streets I found hops growing along fences and back alleys up power poles and such. Dug up many rhizomes from one of them, and the second hop yard is now a large empty field/acreage with a farm house on one corner. I spotted several hop plants obviously being trained on a trellis and stopped and knocked on the door. An elderly gentleman answered and I explained why I was there and he spent 1/2 hour with me telling me the history of the old hop yard and the area in general, from the 30's through to the 60's. Turns out the hops he is growing is strictly for decoration in his garden, but that they are remnants from the original yard, the hops were brought in from Denmark in the 30's and bred to thrive in the alkaline soil. Cool! Just right for my yard. He said I could dig up whatever rhizomes I wanted and wished me luck with them. Super nice fellow. It was a fun day! :ban:

This fall will be interesting...I now have 4 different heritage hops to play with. Will be fun trying to figure out what they are.

Cheers
 

TX_Brewing

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2015
Messages
535
Reaction score
221
Location
Houston
I have to say this is a very interesting thread. Does anybody know if there are old hop yards in Texas? We have/had a huge German population here in the 1800s and quite a few breweries.... I suppose they could have had their hops brought in by rail...... Would be curious to know though! There was an old German city just outside of houston, now in it! I think I may look around there a bit to see if there are any wild hops growing...
 
OP
kilohertz

kilohertz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Messages
113
Reaction score
46
Location
Slightly left of Vernon BC
I have to say this is a very interesting thread. Does anybody know if there are old hop yards in Texas? We have/had a huge German population here in the 1800s and quite a few breweries.... I suppose they could have had their hops brought in by rail...... Would be curious to know though! There was an old German city just outside of houston, now in it! I think I may look around there a bit to see if there are any wild hops growing...
It's very rewarding, finding a bit of history of your area, and getting to propagate it too. You probably already know what to look for, but at this time of year, I was chasing a lot of "Creeping Virginia" which looks a lot like hops until you get up close, and find no shoots or rhizomes. :D I find them easy to spot now in fences and power poles and guy lines. If you can find the location of an old hop yard, just drive around the area..you're bound to find something still...speaks soundly of their hardiness. Who knows what the beer will taste like, but it sure is fun chasing the hops. Just hope I don't bring home a bunch of males....:(
 
OP
kilohertz

kilohertz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Messages
113
Reaction score
46
Location
Slightly left of Vernon BC
Here's an interesting link that lays out a lot of the history of what, where, why, how etc. things kind of got started and evolved in the US: http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/70076#page/1/mode/1up''

Looks like the Canadian Red Vine did come from Canada as the reference to 'Canada Red' points out on page 41.
Finally finished downloading the book, and started reading...cool book and lots of interesting info.

Thanks!!
 
OP
kilohertz

kilohertz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Messages
113
Reaction score
46
Location
Slightly left of Vernon BC
So I got out the Bobcat and loaded up the auger and dug 31 holes for the new (old) rhizomes, and my son and I planted them Wed/Thurs and went out to check them today, and bloody hell, 6 or 8 of them have sprouted already!! Wow! That old horse poop is great! The rhizomes were very fresh and kept under a snowy wet burlap bag, but man they took off fast. It's been pretty cool here and wet for a week, 0 nights and 12C days. I love planting at this time of the year. Last year I didn't get my shipment of rhizomes until late April and more in May and they had a time of it, pretty hot by then. I have now 4 heritage varieties planted, from 1896 thru to the 40's. Mmm, maybe I'll stop filtering my beer as well. :mug: Might as well go all the way.

Cheers
 
OP
kilohertz

kilohertz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Messages
113
Reaction score
46
Location
Slightly left of Vernon BC
A month later and here they are. Kind of hard to see the hops for all the weeds...lots of rain this past week. Going to be a busy weekend.

All of them are up, one variety is climbing, some to 6' already, others just slowly moving towards the string but all 36 are doing well. One of the varieties I decided to plant some in buckets to see how they do and give me some flexibility to put them where I want next year. I only had space for one more row this year. So the pictures show the ground planted hops as well as 10 buckets, 2 or 3 around each main, all doing well.

Cheers

DSCN5478.JPG


DSCN5479.JPG
 
Top