At the end of April, the acre of hopyards at Stillpoint Farm, in Mt. Airy, Maryland, were still 'un-bined' by hops. * That won't be for long.
When Carol McConaughy and Tom Barse first planted their hops only a few years ago, Stillpoint Farm became the first commercial hop farm to operate in Maryland since the 1870s. There are now several small-scale hop farms in Maryland.
In addition to hops, Stillpoint Farm raises sheep and horses, keeps bees and makes honey, and produces ... beer.
In 2012, the Milkhouse Brewery, then under construction on the farm, was the first brewery in Maryland to be granted a farm-brewery license. This 'Class 8' license allows a brewery (normally considered industrial) to operate on rural land and have a public taproom. The brewery must use ingredients grown on the farm (the amount or percentage not stipulated). The Milkhouse Brewery, of course, uses Stillpoint Farm hops: Cascades.
Mt. Airy, Maryland.
26 April 2015.
- More photos: here.
- * A bine is a climbing plant that climbs by its shoots growing in a helix around a support. It is distinct from a vine, which climbs using tendrils or suckers. The stems of many bines are rough or have downward-pointing bristles to aid their grip. Hops (used in flavoring beer) are a commercially important example of a bine. [Wikipedia]
- Photos of Milkhouse Brewery under construction in 2012: here. A return visit in 2014: here.
- For more from YFGF: