The Madison County Hop Fest surpasses all of the other fests out there because it is the only one of its kind that can proudly declare that it celebrates over 200 years of hop heritage that began right here in Madison County! It was right here in Madison County that James Coolidge from New England planted the 1st commercial hop yard on acres of farmland in Bouckville. It was also right here in Madison County where James Coolidge was the first to transport hops to the New York City market in 1816. Thus, establishing a commercial agricultural connection between the hop fields of CNY and the agricultural commodity marketplace. (Cultural Resource Survey of Hop Heritage Sites in Madison County. Nell Ziegler, 2007. Survey funded by Preserve New York, a grant program of the Preservation League of New York State and the New York State Council on the Arts.) Many Madison County farmers followed in Coolidge’s footsteps turning over their fields into commercial hop yards as did the farmers from neighboring counties- Montgomery, Schoharie, Chenango, Otsego, Herkimer and Oneida. The Madison County Hop Fest is a signature event for Madison County and New York State for that matter, as there are no other fests that can make the historic claim that New York State’s Hop Heritage began in their county.
The Madison County Hop Fest celebrates the past, present and prosperous future of the hop industry in Madison County and throughout New York State. At the 22nd Annual Madison County Hop Fest we will have: programs about hop culture in NYS; home brewing demonstrations; exhibits on the history of hops; exhibitor booths from hop suppliers, hop farmers, beer clubs; paired beer dinner; Taste of Hops: a food and beer pairing; sampling of craft beer; crowning of Hop King or Queen. Tickets are required for all beer sampling and will go on sale in July.