Condzella Hops Kickstarter: Halfway There



Condzella Hops Kickstarter campaign to bring the Wolf WHE 140 Hopfen Pflückmaschine (a hop harvesting machine) to their Wading River, Long Island farm is halfway to its conclusion and also a bit more than halfway to its goal of $27,000. Last we checked they had raised $14,775 from 153 different backers, but hopefully that number is increasing even as we type. Thats an average donation of $96 per contributor which is not exactly pocket change and shows just how strongly the local craft beer and agricultural community is behind this campaign.

There are still 16 days left, so its not too late for you to show your support. Depending on your level of involvement, you will be rewarded with not only the satisfaction of knowing you helped bring the “New York Hop” back, but tokens of appreciation ranging from a Condzella Hops mason jar mug to a beer dinner that actually takes place on the farm to the ability to name a row of hops in next years harvest.We had the opportunity to speak with John Condzella today (the creator of both Condzella Hops and this Kickstarter campaign) about the process so far and his hopes for the next 16 days and beyond.

John chose Kickstarter over a more traditional means of obtaining the money, like a business loan, because he really wanted to get the word out about both the machine and the cause. Doing it this way allows community involvement and even after the machine is purchased there will be people across Long Island and NY that are literally invested in the progress of Condzella Hops. Ultimately, his short term goal is to obtain the hop harvester but his vision has a much broader scope. John hopes that this campaign will kickstart hop farming in this region and he is excited to not only share the harvester (either through forming a co-op or by charging a nominal fee) but also show farmers new to the crop the proper way to get started. He is not just trying to better Condzella Farms, but the entire local agricultural and craft beer community.

At the halfway point, John is optimistic and excited. He said the feedback so far has been great, and he has been doing everything he can to get the word out. With NYC Beer Week upon us, he will be appearing at several events throughout it and will also have a table at the Spring Craft Beer Festival at Nassau Coliseum on March 9, which is a big day for him for a variety of reasons. Not only will he be educating people about his farm and campaign at the show, it is also his birthday and the day before the end of his Kickstarter campaign. In addition, Port Jeff Brewing Company (who brewed a wet hopped ale using Condzella Hops) will be releasing their Wet and Wild Ale. This beer was a “hoppy accident” which was born from attempting to dry hop with Condzella fresh hops, resulting in a wild yeast transforming the brew. We had the opportunity to try this beer at Port Jeff’s first anniversary celebration and it was a fruity, tart and delicious. John has yet to try the Wet and Wild, but is excited to do so.

So what about a backup plan if the campaign fails? Not going to happen, according to John. He has been tirelessly working to spread the word and garner support anyway he can, whether it be posters, phone calls, E-mails or interviews like this one, and he will continue to do so through the conclusion of the campaign. He is confident that his efforts will be rewarded and Condzella Hops will meet their goal. But, he can’t do it alone.

John is excited about the outpouring of support thus far and knows that in order to be successful they will need help from the community. Since ultimately this hop machine will help both the local farming and craft beer communities, it is only fitting that it is a group effort to revitalize the New York hop. So please visit Condzella Hops Kickstarter page and read about the campaign, watch the video and give if you can. Even if you can’t contribute right now but support the idea, share it with your friends and family and help John and Condzella Hops get the word out there. Help to (re)kickstart the New York Hop.


Written by A+K

February 22nd, 2013 at 10:42 pm

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