On Labor Day this year, Moonlight Brewing held their annual hop-picking event for friends and family to come and help harvest their hops. Since the kids were out of school and the lovely wife off work, we made a family outing of it, reminiscent of 19th century hop-picking when entire communities stopped what they were doing to help the farmers with the hop harvest. My daughter, Alice, was a hop-picking veteran, having come with me the previous year, but both Porter and my wife, Sarah, were newbies.
Moonlight Brewery’s owner/brewer Brian Hunt with his hops.
It was a beautiful sunny day in whatever town Moonlighting says it’s in, and nearly three-dozen folks showed up to help. I’d guess we knew a little better than half the people there, so it was great fun sitting around, chatting, enjoying Brian’s beer straight from the tanks and picking the hops. There was also abundant food, and even Sean Paxton, the Homebrew Chef, put together a plate of some delicious cheeses. After we were done, we pulled out the Washoe Boards and played a few games, too.
Alice wasn’t content just picking the hops, she wanted to help cut them down and carry them back, too. The kids had a blast and, as always, it felt great to pitch in and help. It was the perfect way to spend our Labor Day.
Below is a short slideshow of our day at Moonlight’s hopyard. If you click on the button on the bottom right with the four arrows pointing outward on it, you can see the photos in glorious full screen.