Hundred Hills Hops and Vines Continues to Thrive in Fourth Year of Operation | Local News
While most of the grapes are usually sold to a group of local wineries, Sousek said the hop trade was difficult to start.
“The hops were not what we thought,” she said. “There has been a bit of it here and there for home brewers, but otherwise the hops haven’t really taken off.”
Sousek attributed the company’s lack of growth in hop sales to a lagging market in Nebraska.
“I know people who would like to use locally grown hops, but there is a big barrier to processing them and providing the amount that breweries want to use,” she said. “So far, it looks like Nebraska has a lot to discover before it can develop a sustainable brewery product in terms of hops.”
Despite this, Sousek generated a lot of interest in sourcing grapes from the local vineyard. Sousek said the focus on growing grapes has led the company to grow every year since its launch in 2017.
In addition to harvesting his own grapes, Sousek said Hundred Hills also offers a custom harvest for other Nebraska wineries. She said many wineries have trouble harvesting grapes by hand, especially if they don’t get the same recognition as other more popular wineries.
“Wineries can attract some of their customers, if they have enough subscribers, but it takes maybe 30 people to pick an acre of grapes in five hours,” she said. “We used to harvest by hand, but it was a lot of stress trying to make sure we had enough people to have them picked on time.”