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Faster growing hops, 'hop-pier' beer enthusiasts

CSU professor finds way to rapidly harvest hops
Posted: 12:11 AM, Jul 07, 2016
Updated: 2016-07-07 11:30:32-04

A horticulture professor at Colorado State University is speeding up harvesting for a main ingredient in your glass of beer.

Dr. Bill Bauerle has turned the typical three-year process of growing hops into a three-month ordeal. This is possible through the use of special equipment and hydroponic technology.

Bauerle said his plants grow a lot faster because he’s applying water and necessary nutrients to the plants several times a day, and he’s also controlling the environment.

After eight months of research, two local businesses have successfully used a batch of Bauerle’s hops for brewing.

Denver7 spoke with Horse and Dragon Brewery owner, Linsey Cornish, who said Dr. Bauerle is revolutionizing the way hops are grown. Cornish said her business is benefiting from Bauerle’s research.

“We’ve eliminated that much of a carbon footprint by getting them right down the street," said Cornish. 

Breweries using Bauerle’s hops will essentially no longer need to ship the plants overseas or across the country. He’s able to manipulate the environment around the plants, to mimic different places around the world.

According to Bauerle, his team can create cloudy conditions mimicking those found in the Czech Republic, and the hops will grow as if they were harvested there.

Hydroponics isn’t a new growing technology, but Baurle said it’s the first time it’s being used for research on a University level.

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