NYC has a lot of great breweries crafting tasty local beer, but did you know we have our very own hops farm too? When Keely Gerhold and Katrina Ceguera planted their rooftop farm in Bed-Stuy, they were doing more than just fulfilling their dream of urban gardening in NYC. Their rooftop hops garden, Tinyfield Roofhop Farm, has since become the go-to local source for a growing number of New York craft beer makers looking for organic hops.
As reported by Gothamist, Tinyfield founders Keely Gerhold and Katrina Ceguera (who is also the farm manager at JetBlue’s T5 Farm at JFK airport) started their small operation last year on the roof of the Pfizer Building in Bed-Stuy. Although the enterprising duo were looking pursue their love of urban farming, they have also managed to meet a growing demand for locally-sourced organic hops in New York.
Ceguera and Gerhold’s idea for a local hops production started about four years ago. In 2012, the state passed the Farm Brewery Bill, which encourages local NY state breweries to source ingredients from in-state farms. In order to be certified as “New York State labeled beer”, breweries must source at least 20% of their hops and 20% of other ingredients locally. That percentage will increase over time until 2024, when breweries will have to source 90% of hops and other ingredients locally to be certified.
Thanks to the Farm Brewery Bill, the ever-growing thirst for craft beer, the kindness of generous friends, and an Indiegogo campaign, the Tinyfield Farm founders intuitively positioned themselves to fill the increasing thirst for their product. “We were hoping to position ourselves to be this really hyper-local thing for New York City brewers to take advantage of,” Ceguera says. “To have ingredients from walking, biking distance of wherever they’re brewing.”
Images via Tinyfield’s Facebook page