COLUMBIA, Mo. — The University of Missouri’s Bradford Research Center is trying something off the beaten path; hops.

Horticulturists are starting to research hops, a key ingredient to making beer.  According to the University of Missouri Extension, the rise in interest of craft beers has inspired staff to start the hops project.

MU Extension horticulturist Patrick Byers and horticulturist Jim Quinn are the leads of the MU hop yard at the Bradford Research Center in Columbia. Byers and Quinn planted 10 varieties of hops this April. Hops grow on trellises. The tallest variety planted on the research farm can grow up to 15 feet tall, but other varieties can reach up much taller.

The 1/4 acre hop yard is located at the farm entrance. It is expected that it will take three years for the hop yard to be efficient, but they can last for up to 40 years.

The hop research has been made possible through a specialty crop grant from the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

On May 23, a free field day with educational presentations is set from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Self-guided tours will also be available in the future. To register for the field day, contact Byers and [email protected] or 859-2044 to register or for more information.