About

Established in 2013 by a father and son team, Black River Hops utilizes organic agricultural practices and locally sourced resources, and we aim for sustainability in all aspects of our operation.  Our goal is to supply Ottawa and the Valley’s brewers with the best possible local organic hops.

Father and Son - Black River Hops Founders (2014)
Father and Son – Black River Hops Founders (2014)

Our geographical location, climate, and growing conditions give our hops a unique terroir. Nestled between the mighty Ottawa River and the meandering Black River (La Riviere Noire), in Western Quebec, Black River Hops is perfectly situated for growing hops.

Black River Hops began as a conversation between family and friends, and the idea of a project to increase access to local organic ingredients developed.  Soon, this idea, and the passion for growing hops took over, and Black River Hops was born.

 

Black River Hops Harvest 2013 - Family and Friends lending a hand. (2013)
Black River Hops Harvest 2013 – Family and Friends lending a hand. (2013)

The instant success of the hopsyard was likely due to its naturally excellent growing conditions, including fertile, well-drained soils, full-day sunlight exposure, and shelter from high-winds. These factors helped produce a hops yield that far surpassed our expectations.

On the sustainability front, we have a drip-irrigation system, locally and selectively harvested cedar posts, and other re-used or re-purposed materials from the farm. We also employ the exclusive use of “green manure” in the hopsyard, with plans to supplement soil nutrients with on-site cattle manure.* We believe these features will enable Black River Hops to measure up to the highest standards of quality and sustainability.

Drip-irrigation system components. (2014)
Drip-irrigation system components. (2014)
Black River Hops trellis system is made from locally and selectively harvested cedar posts as well as re-purposed farm posts (2014)
Untreated and locally sourced cedar posts. Farm posts were also re-purposed and used for the trellis system. (2014)
Drip irrigation system with pressure regulator, pressure gauge, and filter. (2013)
Drip irrigation system with pressure regulator, pressure gauge, and filter. (2013)

*Cattle are grass-raised on-site in green pastures where they are free to roam; i.e. there are no high-density feedlots or intensive farming practices employed. This system has been practiced by our family for the last half-century and no pesticides, herbicides, or chemicals have been used in the last quarter-century on our farm.

Beautiful fall day at Evans Farms, home of Black River Hops
Cattle grazing on a beautiful fall day at Evans Farms, home of Black River Hops