Hop Head Farms, breweries to showcase flavor, aroma of the Michigan hops

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Late August and early September mark the peak of summer and the peak of the hop harvest season.

Of the four main ingredients in craft beer, none of them boast the rabid following of humulus lupulus, or hops. West Michigan Beer Tours, in collaboration with Hop Head Farms, of Hickory Corners, will offer two unique tours into the exciting season with our Hop Harvest Beer Tour, to be held Aug. 27 and Sept. 3.

The Hop Harvest Beer Tour on Aug. 27 will be based out of Grand Rapids, while the Sept. 3 tour will be based out of Kalamazoo. The tours will escort groups to Hop Head Farms, a 30-acre farm in Hickory Corners outside of Kalamazoo that provides hops for breweries all over the country, as well as internationally. Several Michigan breweries will provide samples of their beer using hops from Hop Head Farms to be tasted as part of the unique tour of the hop fields and processing equipment.

“This is a rare opportunity to get a look into what happens to bring our hops to harvest.  We do not offer public tours during harvest because of the sheer busyness of the time. We have only a few short weeks to get all of the hops down, picked and dried at their peak maturity. Our facility is the only of it’s kind in the United States, German engineered and chosen to handle our hops to result in the best end product,” Hop Head Farms co-founder Bonnie Steinman said.

After farm visit, the bus will visit breweries that work close with Hop Head Farms — Founders Brewing Co. and Walldorff Brewpub & Bistro (Aug. 27) and Territorial Brewing Co. and Tibbs Brewing Co. (Sept. 3), respectively.

Tickets for the tour are on sale now. They start at $75 and includes samples or a pint at each location. Premium tickets are also available for both tours. For more information, follow the links below:

Aug. 27 Itinerary

Origination: jdek at JW Marriott Grand Rapids, noon-1 p.m.
Stop 1: Hop Head Farms, samples, tour, 2-3:30 p.m.
Stop 2: Walldorff Brewpub & Bistro, pint/samples, tour, 4-5 p.m.
Stop 3: Founders Brewing Co., tour, pint, 6-7:30 p.m.
Termination: JW Marriott, 7:45 p.m.

Sept. 3 Itinerary

Origination: Shakespeare’s Pub, noon-1 p.m.
Stop 1: Hop Head Farms, samples, tour, 1:30-3 p.m.
Stop 2: Territorial Brewing Co., meet-and-greet, samples, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Stop 3: Tibbs Brewing Co., tour, samples or pint, 5-6 p.m.
Termination: Shakespeare’s Pub, 6:15 p.m.