How many strings does it take to grow 52-acres of beer?
No, it’s not the set up to a joke; it’s one of the biggest spring chores on the farm. The 78,788 strings are hand tied and painstakingly staked into the ground, one by one.
When we say “string,” what we mean is coir. Coir is a braided coconut husk imported from Sri Lanka. Our reason for using this specifically is two-fold.
First, as you may know, hops crave sun. They use the coir to climb 18-feet to the top of the trellis in just three months.
The second reason to use coir, is that it’s completely biodegradable. We’re able to compost it right along with the bines and leaves.
So how do we string a trellis? One knot at a time.
Each piece is 21 feet long. A crew of six rides high between the poles, tying six strings to each section of wire. They average 126 feet of string going up every ten seconds — or a quarter-mile of string every minute.
On the ground, the coir is wrapped around an anchor at the end of a pole.
We push the stake into the soil with our feet until the coir is taut.
The whole operation will take several days. We invite you out to see for yourselves the hard work put into growing your beer from Ground to Glass.
The Chatoe Tasting Room is open from 11am-6pm, Wednesday-Sunday.