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October 6, 2020

Windsor Locks brewery getting help from local growers for special batch of beer

Luppoleto Brewing Co. is preparing to brew a special beer made from hops that have been distributed to members of the community over the past two years.

In lieu of a typical hopyard, the Windsor Locks brewery instead opted to create a community hopyard in which residents can grow their own hop plants.

The brewery is located at 20 Main St. inside Dexter Plaza and is open Thursday through Sunday, offering both indoor and outdoor seating.

Owners Jen and James Wright explain on the brewery’s website why they went the route of a community hopyard.

“A first location is like a first apartment. You may dream of a loft in a highrise but when the reality of the budget sinks in — you have to get more practical. We feel like our location in Dexter Plaza is a great place to start; plenty of parking, reasonable rent, close by the center of town and lots of energy from town staff to reinvigorate the area,” the website says.

It continues, “But it fell short on one count — an actual hopyard. Our dream of having patrons sip and savor Luppoleto beers among the hop bines will remain on hold for now. In the meantime, we thought, why not divide our hop plants among willing growers in the community, one plant at a time!”

Thus far, about 25 planted hop plants have been distributed, Jen said. Once the plants begin to produce hops, growers can return to the brewery and contribute them to the batch.

The goal of the project is to create a beer with ingredients founded within a 5-mile radius of the brewery. The brewery also will use malt from Thrall Family Malt in Windsor.

The beer will be called “Putting Down Roots,” Jen said.

Tips and advice for growing a hop plant can be found on the brewery’s website. The four key points include giving plants large amounts of sunlight, vertical space for growth, proper drainage, and support.

A portion of the proceeds will be going to a local project called the Grove Street Garden, which is a garden operated by volunteers and students. Students get a chance to learn how to grow food in a small garden and their fresh produce is donated to the Windsor Locks Food Pantry.

Jen and James have been brewing beer and trying out different recipes for nearly 16 years, she explained. The couple met in middle school, started dating as upperclassmen in high school, and then got married in 2003.

The couple celebrated the brewery’s one-year anniversary last month after they opened their doors Sept. 12 last year.

Related: Windsor couple eyes first Windsor Locks brewery 

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