Consolidation with Ceres Hops and Grains to allow Michigan hops to reach new customers

HICKORY CORNERS, MI. — Hop Head Farms, of Hickory Corners, Michigan, announces expansion plans as a result of consolidation with Berrien County-based grower Ceres Hops and Grain. The combined entity will continue to operate as Hop Head Farms and will remain based in Hickory Corners.

“This consolidation gives us the necessary resources to continue to grow our acreage, varietal portfolio and processing capabilities of high quality hops expected by the expanding craft beer market” Jeff Steinman, Vice President of Operations and one of the three founders of Hop Head Farms, said in a press release.

Ceres brings to the venture 140 acres of land for hop production in Berrien County and plans for additional land purchases in Michigan.

“We are excited by the opportunity to merge our rapidly expanding hop growing operation with Hop Head Farms – the leading processor and marketer of Hops in the Midwest. Hop Head has a top flight team, a state of the art processing facility and strong relationships with leading craft brewers in the state, as well as the country,” said Perry Vieth, President and CIO of Ceres.

Jeff Steinman, of Hop Head Farms, splits a hop cone during a recent tour of the 30-acre farm in Hickory Corners, Michigan.

Jeff Steinman, of Hop Head Farms, splits a hop cone during a recent tour of the 30-acre farm in Hickory Corners, Michigan.

Starting as a quest to bring hop production back to Michigan for craft brewers, Jeff and Bonnie Steinman began researching hop varieties in their backyard in 2007. In 2011, the Steinman’s met their partner Nunzino Pizza, who had a foot in the Chicago craft beer scene and saw the potential to grow the hop industry in the Midwest. Together the three launched Hop Head Farms LLC in February of 2012, and today have 30 mature acres of hops in Hickory Corners as well as an additional 60 acres of contracted hops with its network growers.

Hop Head’s focus has always been on quality and serving the craft beer industry in a way that had been lacking from their usual sources. In addition to following stringent production procedures in the field, Hop Head built a processing facility like no other in the US. It is a hybrid design utilizing the latest in German equipment and American ingenuity. Harvesting, drying, pelleting, packaging and cold storage are all on site and contained in the fully food safe facility.

Hop Head also offers hand selected imported hops purchased directly from select farmers in Germany, Slovenia and the Czech Republic. Imported hops are processed in Hickory Corners using the same food safe facility and techniques.

Hop Head Farms currently has over 130 brewery clients spanning 17 states and 4 countries. They provide hops to large breweries such as Bell’s Brewery Inc., Founders Brewing Co. and Three Floyds Brewing Co., as well as to nano breweries, including Tibbs Brewing Co. in Kalamazoo. Team Hop Head sees themselves as partners with their brewer clients in creating quality craft beers. This attention to quality has led to increased demand and the need for more Michigan grown hops. Ceres brings experience in land management and a dedicated team to make sure Hop Head Farms can turn out the consistent volume needed to fulfill the ever-growing craft beer industry.

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