Friday, June 4, 2010

Fred Meyer - HOPS

I was at Fred Meyer the other day, and when I was walking by the garden section on my way into the store, a group of potted plants caught my eye... hops! In the past, when I've considered growing my own hops at the house, it seemed like the only places I had seen the plants for sale were from specialty stores on the internet (which were often out of stock), or a few listings on craigslist. If they were slightly more available (meaning I could still be incredibly lazy and get some), I probably would have some growing by now.

I was with family, and in a rush, so I didn't look to see what varieties they were carrying, or how much they were charging, but the pots contained 3 or 4 foot long, nice leafy bines, ready to go.

As much of an Oregon homer as I am, I'm inclined to think that finding hop plants for sale in a grocery store must be a pretty northwest-only type thing, but maybe I'm wrong. In any case, it's fitting in beervana.


  1. Good clue, thanks.

    A vast backyard with good southern exposure is available at my daughter's house [south Salem]. I will check local Fred's for rhizomes this morning.

  2. I went back and picked up four pots. The price on the packaging was $7.99 each, but I found that the bar code rings up as $5.99 at check-out. The only variety that they had was willamette.

    I've read that a lot of NW hop growers are tearing out willamettes that they had been contract growing for Budweiser in order to plant more profitable varieties that they can sell to craft breweries.

    They're probably throwing them in pots and selling them pretty cheap to garden centers to make a couple extra bucks in the process.

  3. I went to two Fred Myer and, as you report, the only variety available was Willamette. reports/illustrates aromas/tastes:
    primary: Herb; Earth
    secondary: Floral; Fruity; Spicy

    I will contact a Master Gardener friend and seeking a product which will accelerate the growth without imparting toxicity.

    Again, thanks for the clue

  4. No problem. Ask his opinion on the potential first year yield. I know I've read that first year rhizomes often don't produce very much, but the rhizomes I've seen for sale previously are pretty much a bare chunk of root, this is a entire pot of root in soil with 3-4 ft of growth. I'm wondering what to expect from the bigger starter.

    I've never grown hops before, and have only been marginally interested in it previously, so I'm not very knowledgeable about these things.

    I planted two in my back yard along a south facing fence that gets full sun, and two in my front yard that I'm going to train over my bedroom window and beer cave (garage) entrance. The ones in the front face south as well, but don't get sun until around noon, as my house blocks the light in the morning.

    I'd be fine with getting a decent yield in the back, and just use the ones out front as decoration if they don't really produce much.