In addition, we have a lot to be thankful for with all the hard work that NCSU researchers, Dr. Jeanine Davis, Dr. Deanna Osmond and Rob Austin are doing to help our hops industry grow!
Here is a sidebar from the on-line article entitled, "Beer in the Mountains":
The four farms working with N.C. State University to explore the possibility of commercial hops growing are all clustered around Asheville, and that's no coincidence: The mountain city is gaining national attention as an attraction for craft-beer lovers, and would be an obvious market for the bitter flowers.
Last year Asheville was voted "Beer City USA" in an online poll, sharing the top honor with a much better-known brewing city, Portland, Ore.
Also in 2009, eight brewing operations in the city and four nearby formed the Asheville Brewers Alliance.
"Any day of the week, you can have your choice of probably 80 Asheville-made beers," said Tony Kiss, who covers beer like a sport for the Asheville Citizen-Times.
A tour called the Brews Cruise takes tourists on a circuit of local brewing operations and the city now boasts five annual beer festivals. All 3,500 tickets for the fall Brewgrass Festival were snapped up in less than a day when they went on sale Wednesday.
With all this beer action, Black Mountain farmer Van Burnette said hops growers like him not only could supply local brewers with their most crucial ingredient, but also could become part of a critical mass of attractions for the beer-related tourism.