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(Credit: Claire Leaden, file photo)

L.I. Hops, the 43-acre hop farm in Riverhead, will celebrate the 2016 harvest with the first-ever Fresh Hop Festival on Saturday, September 24.

The event will offer samplings of locally brewed beers made with locally grown and harvested hops, many brewed especially for this event. Attendees will enjoy an afternoon of beer tasting with a little bit of hop farming education.

L.I. Hops owners Thor Kampher, Tony Caggiano and Melissa Daniels have been growing hops on their farm for the past four years. They now offer five varieties of hops – including Willamette, Columbus, Nugget, Centennial and Magnum. Intended to become an annual event, the Fresh Hop Festival will be a venue for attendees to sample and learn more about local and regional brewers using homegrown hops. Attendees will also have the unique opportunity to taste versions of fresh hop beers alongside the traditional versions of the same beer.

Beers brewed with fresh or wet hops were made with hops that were picked off the bine (that’s what hop vines are called) and used within 24 hours.

“What a unique experience for local beer lovers to come to an event and see how local breweries like mine are using local hops in everyday production and taste the unique flavors offered by a fresh hopped beer,” Long Ireland Beer Company owner Greg Martin said. “It will be a great showcase of the farming and brewing culture on Long Island,” he added.

Local brewers will be on hand to explain their creations. There will also be live music performed by local singer/songwriter Dan Donnelly, food for purchase and educational seminars.

The Fresh Hop Festival will take place on Saturday, September 24 from 12:30 to 4 p.m. at LI Hops, located at 5873 Sound Avenue in Riverhead. Tickets are $40 and are on sale now at

Due to the finite availability of these beers, tickets are limited and are being sold on a first come, first served basis. Designated driver tickets are also available for $10 and do not include any sampling. No one under 21 will be permitted and valid photo ID is required for entry.