Let's face it: If you love craft beer chances are you fantasize about brewing your own. Luckily, it's not that hard. And growing your hops is even easier.
First thing? Buy hop rhizomes. Rhizomes are pieces of a hope plant that sprout into a new plant. Rhizomes are available early in the spring, when hop farmers dig them up and sell them to suppliers. You can order them online or check with your local brewer or specialty garden store. Like its relative (cannabis) you only get actually hop production from the female plant, which sprout cones, so if you're growing from seed be warned of the 50/50 chance you'll have nothing to brew your beer with.
Choose a place to plant the hops, which are best planted late spring, after the last frost. Scout out an area that gets the most sunlight per day (6-8 hours). In addition to sun, hops need just two other things to thrive:
Plenty of vertical space. Hops grow on bines that stretch 10-25 feet or longer into the air. To grow you will need a trellis; be creative, as long as it's vertical, your hops will grow. Think, the taller, the more your plant can produce and expand. You can lean a tall trellis against the roof. If you'd rather not use your roof to prop up the bines, the trellis can instead be propped against a pole or another structure close to the garden - anything that the hops can wind on around and upwards.
Well-drained soil; if you often see water standing over an area after a heavy rain, that means the soil there doesn't drain well.
Remember, you don't need to own a farm to grow hops, even two 6-8 foot plants will be able to produce enough for at home small batch beer production - use your garden, deck or patio (or borrow a friends garden).