Hop Head Farms is another ag pioneer, helping regrow Michigan’s hop industry. Outside of the Pacific Northwest, Michigan is actually the hop growing leader with an estimated 650 acres in production with more under development, according to our recent hop report. But let’s put that in perspective: The Pacific Northwest planted 51,115 acres for a record season in 2016.
Founded in 2012, Hop Head Farms has more than 500 acres and is the leading producer, processor and marketer of premium Michigan Hops. Hop Heads also imports hand-selected traditional and experimental hop varieties from Germany, Slovenia and the Czech Republic and also has direct relationships with more than 300 leading breweries in Michigan, across the Midwest and nationwide.
To strengthen and grow its business, Hop Head Farms just announced the appointment of David Sipes as executive vice president. Having been immersed in the craft beer community for nearly 25 years, Sipes, as both a brewer and a manager, is nationally recognized as an industry leader. Most recently, Sipes served as senior purchasing manager for the Boston Beer Co. (BBC), producer of Sam Adams. Armed with industry know-how and solid relationships with growers domestically and internationally, at Hop Head Farms he will be responsible for further establishing Hop Head hops as the gold standard for craft brewers large and small.
Spanning a 17-year career at BBC, Sipes started as a production manager in 1999. He held various positions in brewing, quality, research and development, and procurement, before assuming his latest role, which he held for five years. Sipes led BBC’s annual hop selection both domestically and overseas, and established their preferred grower program for key hop varieties. Sipes also led multiple quality initiatives at BBC, along with supporting ingredient quality programs for the craft brewing industry as a whole. He is a frequent speaker, panelist and judge at industry events.
According to Hop Head Farms’ CEO Perry Vieth, “We are all excited to welcome Dave to the Hop Heads’ team. Dave’s incredibly profound knowledge about hops and ingredients and how they express themselves in beer lends deep credibility to our team. Dave will be instrumental in helping Hop Heads continue to meet the growing demand from our customers for premium, quality hops and outstanding customer care.”
Sipes received his Bachelor of Science, Fermentation Science, Malting and Brewing Science emphasis at the University of California, Davis. He also graduated from The Master Brewers Program in Brewing Science and Brewery Engineering at University of California, Davis.
“I’m thrilled to be joining Hop Heads,” said David Sipes. “This dynamic company has put Michigan hops on the map, growing and processing high-quality hops, and serving many of the most respected craft breweries in Michigan, the Midwest and nationwide. I share the company’s vision of developing Hop Head Farms as a brand unto itself that’s synonymous with quality.”
Dave will be working out of Hop Head Farm’s corporate office located in Hingham, Mass., but spending significant time onsite at the farm in Hickory Corners, Mich.