Sept. 16 tour shows hop kilns around Madison County

AMONG STOPS — William and Stephanie Lipsey’s double pyramidal hop house in Poolville will be one of the stops during the Madison County Hop Kiln Tour on Sunday, Sept. 16. Advance tickets are available for $51 until Aug. 10, and then they are $56. (Photo submitted)

ONEIDA — Reduced-price tickets are on sale for the Madison County Hop Kiln Tour slated Sunday, Sept. 16.

The guided hop tour starts at the the Madison County Historical Society, 435 Main St. at 9 a.m. and returns at 6:30 p.m. Advance tickets are available for $51 at the society, or at until Aug. 10. Regular tickets cost $56. Seats are limited.

The tour will visit hop heritage sites in Madison County with Carl Stearns, a preservation architect from the firm Crawford and Stearns Architects and Preservation Planners, as the tour guide. Guests will travel down the Stockbridge Valley hop-growing corridor where there will be sightings of 19th Century hop houses including early limestone pyramidal, step-up, pyramidal, and common. The tour will then stop at Holly and Ron Marshall’s 1867 limestone oast house. An oast house is a distinctive hop-drying building.

The Chenango Canal Cottage Museum serves as the anchor for the Bouckville section of the tour and will inform guests of the first agricultural cash crop in New York State, which started in Bouckville in 1808 with rhizome plantings by James Coolidge. Many bales of hops were shipped along the canal. James Coolidge’s farm that recently received a historical marker and gravesite will also be part of the tour.

After traveling along US Route 20 and the Chenango Canal, the tour group will head for Poolville to have a picnic lunch catered from the Poolville Country Store at one of the two twin pyramidal hop houses built by the Stebbins brothers on opposite sides of the Sangerfield River Valley during the thriving days of hop farming.

The coach will then head for Hamilton where a tour and sampling of craft beer brewed at Good Nature Brewing will ensue. Steve Miller, Madison County Hop Specialist will meet the coach at Morrisville State College to show the German mechanical hop picker that the college acquired.

The tour concludes with dinner at the Copper Turret where chef Kerry Beadle will provide a description of a six course hop-inspired dinner created for the tour.

Another hop-related event is a paired beer dinner at Centro’s Restaurant Friday, Sept. 14. Tickets for the paired beer dinner are $50. Tickets are limited and must be reserved by Sept 7.

Saturday, Sept. 15, there will be daylong presentations on hop culture, a raffle, hopshop, and home brewer demonstrations, and crowning of the Madison County Hop King and Queen at the Madison County Historical Society at Hop Fest, free of charge. From 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. participants can sample over 30 styles of craft beer. Tickets for the sampling are $20 advance, $25 at the door if available. Only 150 will be sold. Tickets for the craft beer sampling are $25 advance and $30 at the door. Advance craft beer tickets can be purchased at Arnie’s Produce/Kraig’s Kegs in Sherrill, Good Nature Brewing in Hamilton, the historical society, or at

For more information or purchasing tickets, contact the society by calling either 363-4136 or 361-9735, check online at