What Should a Small Farmer Know When Starting with Hops?
Today on the Thriving Farmer Podcast, we’re joined by Eric Sannerud, Hop Evangelist and Farm Advocate from Minnesota. Eric was co-founder and CEO of Mighty Axe Hops, Minnesota’s largest hop farm. Eric started Mighty Axe Hops in 2013 and has since grown the farm from .25 acre to 80 acres of production. Mighty Axe was the industry leader in Minnesota hops working with commercial brewers, USDA programs, local government and economic development, and University researchers to develop hops as a viable local crop. Mighty Axe closed in 2020 due to tremendous storm damage. Eric is currently a hop consultant, a farm advocate, and a speaker.
In this episode, you’ll hear…
- What led Eric to becoming a hop expert 2:39
- What makes the hop plant special 4:05
- What the average hop plant can produce for you 11:58
- Eric’s sales outlets while growing hops 17:12
- What a small farmer should do when starting with hops 19:06
- The weather event that set Eric substantially back 22:15
- The size of Eric’s team on the farm 34:58
- Eric’s role at GrownBy 43:53
About the Guest:
Eric R. Sannerud is a hop evangelist. Eric first fell in love with hops as co-founder and farmer-CEO of Mighty Axe Hops, a fully integrated hop farm and marketing company which grew and sold 80 acres of hops in Minnesota. He then went on to be the Hop Brand Manager for Brewers Supply Group. He is now a freelance hop consultant for brewers, farmers, and marketers across the United States.
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