The world of vertical farming has seen a massive uptick in interest over the past decade, as the world grapples with concerns over resource use, farmable area and exploding population growth. While promising, there are still plenty of question marks surrounding the technology, including the diversity of crops one can grow indoors at scale.
Newark, New Jersey-based AeroFarms is one of the U.S. leaders in the space, finding its most success in the world of microgreens. It’s a bit of a produce department niche, but it commands high prices and allows for quick turnover in the farming facilities.
Brewer Goose Island’s U.K. division this week announced that it’s collaborating with the startup on a Session IPA called Hail Hydro. The name (apparently Hooked on ‘Ponics was taken) is a nod to the use of hydroponics (though, as the company’s name implies, it actually primarily specializes in aeroponics) for growing the beer’s hops. The hops are being grown in AeroFarm’s Newark facility, with a process it claims can yield 390 times greater productivity per year, with as much as 95% less water use.
Is the partnership a bit of a gimmick? Kind of, yeah. More than anything, it’s a nice bit of marketing for both companies and a demonstration that the technology can be used for more than just microgreens. The back of the cans note:
Celebrate the super-human efforts of our partner AeroFarms who is fighting climate change by growing hops indoors with no pesticides using their vertical farming for elevated resilience and flavor.
There’s also a QR code for a virtual “tour” of the AeroFarms facilities.