The Promise of Hops

Hop-Sprout-2888We plan to open our brewery/brewpub in the spring of 2016. That leaves us this year to experiment and learn about the craft of brewing and to develop our own distinctive brands of beer. To that end, since last December, we have been trying out different types of ingredients and brewing techniques. An opportunity arose to go one step further. We are going to try growing some or our own hops.

Last fall, our friend and professional certified organic hop grower Nicholas challenged us to find a local or wild hop. We got in touch with  Doris and Jim Villemaire from Sprucedale. Doris, a Sprucedale & District Horticultural Society member, had written an article in 2008 in the Almaguin News on wild hops she was growing. Late in October, I was fortunate enough to meet her and her husband Jim at their home.

Doris-and-Jim-2482Doris took me out to her hop trellis and allowed me to dig up 5 rhizomes to take home with me.

The hops originated with Doris’ friend Irene Smith who explained that the hops had always been on her family property near Sprucedale since she was a young child. Irene also recalls her father brewing beer using the hops.

Yesterday we unearthed the pots where we planted the hops to overwinter and found tiny sprouts and leaves breaking the soil cover.


We don’t know what variety these hops are and we may never know. We have decided to call them Smith-Villemaire until we know differently.

This year we hope to have enough in late August or early September to brew a wet hopped IPA. When it is ready, that’s when we will discover the true flavour of the hop.
Next year, once the building is finished and the landscaping nearing completion, we will have hops to transplant to the beer garden area alongside the Seguin River.

4 thoughts on “The Promise of Hops”

  1. I’m from Tucson AZ, traveled the world , lived in Nuremberg Germany, Genk Belgium and Debra other places in years past. I have also been coming to Parry sound since the late 60’s. I tried your Golden Ale and I’m hooked. Sadly I see it’s not available for purchase yet as I would love to take several cases back to the states with me. I had it several times while here on vacation at local restaurants and absolutely love the crisp and refreshing taste. Knowing it’s local and using the waters from the bay make it even more exciting. I love this beer and can’t wait to come back next year and hopefully will be able to purchase to take some back with me. I love micro brews and you have definitely got an amazing beer here. Wish you success with your company and looks forward to hearing of your growth and new beers hopefully by next year. Cheers !!!!

    1. Thomas- WOW!!! Thanks!!!

      We are really happy with our Golden Ale and the response it has received from fans of local and craft like yourself. It is humbling to go into a restaurant for lunch or supper and see people drinking our beer. Truly amazing! We will get our building underway soon and look forward to meeting you next year and hosting you in it! We are waiting on our liquor regulators to approve our label for distribution into our grocery stores. It takes time as the bureaucratic wheels turn slowly – but it will be worth it in the long run…

      Be sure to introduce yourself next year when you arrive for the summer and thank you for your support!


      The Trestle Team

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