Hops are one of New York State’s original cash crops. Craft brewers, beer lovers and history buffs alike are invited to Genesee Country Village & Museum’s Hop Harvest Festival this year to follow the journey of hops from field to brewery to pint glass.
Scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 2, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., this will be a celebration of all things beer and brewing. It includes a tour of a working 19th-century brewery, historical and new beer tasting and education about hop production and usage in 19th-century New York. There will also be live music and a Beer Garden. Tickets are on sale now right here.
Explore historical uses of beer and hops | While adventuring through the 19th-century Historic Village, visitors to Hop Harvest Festival will explore history of beer and brewing in the Genesee Valley Region. Learn what role women and migrant workers played in the hop harvesting and drying process, explore the medicinal purposes of hops, savor the aromas of historic “receipts” (called recipes, today) cooking in historic kitchens, learn about the varieties of yeasts used to brew and bake, and more.
Plus, join historian Jane Oakes for a talk “19th-Century Brewing in the Genesee Valley.” The discussion will cover NY State’s 19th-century hop production (some of the largest in the United States at the time), as well as touch on the growing of hops, the social aspect of hops, hop harvesting, how hops were used for brewing and medicine and the boom and bust of the local hops industry.
Tour a working 19th-century brewery | GCV&M is one of the only museums in the United States with a working 19th-century brewery. Grieve’s Brewery is a reconstruction of a c. 1803 brewery from Geneva, NY, with portions of Rochester’s Enright Brewery (closed in 1907) and an early timber-framed structure from West Bloomfield, NY.
Brewing demonstrations rely on gravity during much of the process, with liquids pumped by hand or ladled into troughs throughout the building. Visitors are invited to tour through all three levels of the brewery and learn how in 1850, New York State became a leading producer of hops. Beside the brewery, visitors will find a Hop House (built c. 1870 in Greece, NY), surrounded by a small hop yard where hops will be harvested, processed, and dried by costumed historical interpreters.
Sample historic beers and regional craft brews | Visitors can enjoy two craft beers on tap at GCV&M, both brewed referencing historical beer recipes by Rohrbach Brewing Co.: Stocking Hill Ale, an American Wheat Ale, and Fat Ox Ale, an American-style brown ale. Visitors can enjoy a sample, purchase a pint, or bring home a growler of either of these historical brews. Guests can elevate their craft beverage experience by purchasing a ceramic pint glass, hand-crafted in the Historic Village by GCV&M potters. Local breweries including Dublin Corners Farm Brewery and Talking Cursive Brewing Company will be on-site pouring samples in the Beer Garden. Full list of beers here.