Misty Bleu Farm Blog

About Misty Bleu Farm

Misty Bleu Farm is located in beautiful Washington County, New York at the head of the Black Creek ValleyMisty Bleu Farm produces hops for the R.S. Taylor & Sons Brewery.

Located on 50 acres in the heart of the Hebron Hills, Misty Bleu Farm is the home of R.S. Taylor & Sons Brewery.  The Brewery and Taproom are open to the public Wednesday through Friday from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday 12 noon to 9:00 pm.  Come experience true field to glass farm-brewed beer at our farm, nestled among green hills and stunning natural beauty.  Our farm boasts over 600 feet of frontage on the West Branch of the Black Creek, with waterfalls and rushing cascades.  Tours of the brewery and grounds are available.  The Farm and Brewery are also available to be rented out for special events.  Please visit the brewery website, www.rstaylorbrewing.com for more details and directions.

Follow our journey as we create the Most Beautiful Farm Brewery in America!


Latest Project Updates

Hop Harvest 2014

Misty Bleu Farm - Friday, September 05, 2014

So far, we are 1/3 of the way done and we have about 30 lbs of dried hops!

 

 

Hop Fest 2014 Starts This Saturday

Misty Bleu Farm - Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Our second year hop crop has been a resounding success.  The easy part is growing them.  Now comes the hard part - the harvesting and drying.

We are growing hops for our own use, not for commercial sale.  We don't have access to the hop harvesting equipment that larger operations do, so we have to do things the old fashioned way - by hand! 

This Saturday kicks off the hop harvesting season.  We're going to be laying in plenty of beer from our friends down in Argyle Brewery in Greenwich.  We want all of our pickers well lubricated and well-fed so they won't mind one bit helping us out here. 

Hop picking isn't hard work, but it is tedious.  It's going to take a couple of weekends to pick those bines clean.  And with any luck the weather will hold out for the picking and the drying.

Holy Hops Batman!

Misty Bleu Farm - Thursday, July 03, 2014

The weather has been perfect for the growing of hops.  So, here they are in all their glory:

 

Spring Dispatch 2014

Misty Bleu Farm - Friday, May 16, 2014

It actually seems more brown now in the Black Creek Valley than it did just a few weeks ago.  The reason?  Why the farmers have tilled the fields in anticipation of planting their corn and potatoes and other crops.  You don't realize just how much of this valley is given over to corn until you see all the vacant fields in the early spring.  Soon enough there will be green sprouts of corn knee high by the fourth of July; but for now, the fields are flat and felty brown. 

The daffodils are in full bloom at the farm, being about a week and a half to two weeks behind those here in Albany.  It will be almost the end of May before we see the white ash trees leafing out.  Every spring, I swear they all died over the winter.  They take the longest to leaf out of any tree I can imagine.  Then they up and drop their leaves the first week in October.  Go figure. 

We're expecting some heavy rain by week's end.  That should really make everything pop and look like summer.  We've already cut back the hops once, as per the instructions of hop growing guru Steve Miller, and just like that, they're up again.  Must have been that good Washington County composted cow poo.  Many thanks to Booth's Blend Compost for that.  They sure do know their shit. 

Farmer Brewer Conference

Misty Bleu Farm - Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Last weekend, we attended the Farmer-Brewer Conference in Amherst put on by Valley Malt.  The program brought together brewers, maltsters, farmers, home-brewers and those just considering jumping into the fray. 

One of the speakers was Steve Miller, from Cornell Cooperative Extension and the leader of the movement to return hop growing to New York State.  The hop plants we purchased last year were through Mr. Miller's program at Cornell.  Hop production is expanding in New York State, although we have  a long way to go to meet the upcoming demand. 

Other speakers included brewers from Wormtown Brewery and High Horse Brewery in Massachussets.  Nano-breweries and nano-distilleries are popping up left and right, and most of those already engaged in the business say they cannot make their products fast enough.  This is encouraging to hear, as small-batch brewers and distillers form close relationships with local farmers growing their grain and hops and maltsters who process the grain for them.  The fact that all this is getting done on the local level, like it did over 100 years ago, benefits small local agrarian communities, many of which have struggled to retain jobs and residents in the last few decades.

The most encouraging sign from the Conference - the number of young people interested in the farming end of the business.  Yes, young people.  While the median age of farmers in the United States is currently increasing, these young people may turn the tide.  Many of them are interested in sustainable, organic farming with vertical integration into the local community via CSA shares, food co-ops and self-owned outlets for their products.  In New York State, with the passage of the Farm Brewery Bill, there will be a huge demand for these crops.

We met some local folks getting into brewing and distilling, as well.  It's becoming quite the community, and we hope everyone will work together to promote this fledgling industry.

If You Were Nice

Misty Bleu Farm - Sunday, December 22, 2013

IF you were really, really good this year, you might have gotten the 2013 R.S. Taylor & Sons 4-pack of beer for Christmas, including the India Pale Ale made with our farm-grown hops and the special Christmas Ale.

 

Naughty folks need not apply.

And So To Bed

Misty Bleu Farm - Monday, October 28, 2013

 

The hops have all been cut down and put to bed for the winter.  We'll put a solid top dressing of Booth's Blend Compost on them in the next few weeks.  We won't see them again until next spring!

Our 2013 Hop Harvest

Misty Bleu Farm - Saturday, September 07, 2013

We didn't think we would have a hop harvest at all this year, as the plants were put in around the middle of June, but they have grown amazingly well.  We will have a hop harvest in 2013 of about a pound of hops.  This is an excellent showing for a first year planting, from what we understand.

The Cascades hops are ready now for harvesting.  We will have about a two week window to harvest them and dry them.  The hop leaves are glossy and dark green, with very little insect damage.  We expect the plants to overwinter well, and with a good and heavy top dressing of Washington County's finest composted cow poo, they should grow like gangbusters in the spring.

 

You can see all the cones hanging from the plant.  The plants themselves are really quite pretty.  I can see why some hop cultivars are grown as ornamental plants.

 

Our modest hop yard:  We are quite proud.

 

2013 Hop Field Day at Four Star Farm in Mass.

Misty Bleu Farm - Wednesday, September 04, 2013

The Northeast Hop Alliance sponsors a Hop Field Day every year and this year it was held at Four Star Farm.  The land around the farm is perfect, running along the Connecticut River, it is flat and perfect for large hop yards.

Here is a mature hop yard:

 

Hop yards with younger plants:

 

 

Hop harvesting equipment: