Hops used to be king here in Central New York, and the remnants of that history can be seen all over the landscape with Hop Kilns in various stages of preservation. This area led the nation in hop production and it is a part of history that is starting an amazing comeback, thanks in large part to the explosion of craft beer and brewing in the United States.
On Sunday September 16th you can learn about this history while riding a motor coach to 10 historic hop sites in and around Madison County. The tour is part of the 17th annual Hop Fest, which takes place over the course of the entire weekend.
The guided hop tour starts at the Madison County Historical Society’s hop exhibit at 435 Main Street in Oneida at 9 am and returns at 6:30 pm. Advance tickets are available for $51 until August 10, then they are $56. Seats are limited, so do not delay.
The tour will visit select hop heritage sites in Madison County with Carl Stearns a preservation architect, from the firm Crawford and Stearns Architects and Preservation Planners, as our tour guide. Carl has presented programs on the architectural evolution of a Hop House at past Hop Fests, with his expertise in the field of the CNY Hop House from the earliest kilns to the “twin” kiln form, along with the rotating cowl or roof vent, our trip around Madison County examining the hop industry will definitely be informative.
Besides the stops at the hop kilns the motor coach will also stop at Good Nature Brewing in Hamilton where craft beer sampling will take place at Madison County’s first commercial brewery, and one that is using local hops in their beers.
The tour concludes with a six course hop inspired dinner at the Copper Turret where chef, Kerry Beadle will provide a description of the dinner created just for the hop tour.
Advance tickets are $51 until August 10, and then they are $56. Tickets are limited and available at the society, or at www.mchs1900.org/hopfest. The guided coach tour will leave the grounds of the Madison County Historical Society at 9 am and return at 6:30 pm.