Madison County's 18th annual Hop Fest celebrated the history of the key beer ingredient in the region. There are more nearly 150 acre of the crop planted across the state. YNN's Sarah Blazonis has more on the impact of the crop.
ONEIDA, N.Y. -- Local brewers, hops growers, and restaurants were on display in Oneida this weekend. It was all part of the annual Madison County Hop Fest.
The festival began 18 years ago. It was originally aimed at teaching people about the history of the crop in the region. Central New York grew 80 percent of the nation's hops in the 1800s.
Now, it focuses on the boom in growing which has been seen in just the past few years. The state went from having a handful of hops farmers a few years ago to about 150 acres growing today.
"It's wonderful now to have Madison County recognizing that hops, that once was this bygone hop industry that now has been uprooted and now there's this resurgence to bringing it back and will be a viable hop industry, and we're so excited to be a part of that," said Sydney Loftus, executive director of the Madison County Historical Society.
Hop Fest wraps up Sunday with a tour of barns and hop houses from the crop's heyday.