A new complex planned in western Canyon County will include Southwest Idaho’s first mill for making hop pellets and a pilot brewery aimed at bringing brewers and hop farmers together, the developers say.
Mill 95, in Wilder, plans to sell hop pellets to craft-beer breweries around the world. That could save on local hop farmers’ shipping costs. Today, hops grown in Idaho must be sent out of state for processing.
“Our goal is to build a facility that not only brings a crucial part of the brewing process — pelletizing hops — closer to Idaho farmers and brewers, but also creates a place for them to collaborate and innovate together,” says Jamie Scott, Mill 95 co-founder, in a news release.
Hops are climbing vines whose cone-shaped flowers impart bitterness and aroma to beer, preventing it from tasting sweet.
The Western Alliance for Economic Development, representing Wilder and five other small towns in rural Canyon and Owyhee counties, said Idaho is the third-largest hop-growing state, with more than 5,000 acres planted. Wilder is in the heart of Idaho hop country, home to the Idaho Hop Commission and the Idaho Hop Growers Association.
The Mill 95 complex will be on 20 acres at the corner of Highway 95 and Howe Road. It also will include two cold-storage buildings for preserving hops.
The pellet plant is expected to be finished by fall 2017. Once complete, Mill 95 will employ 10 people, the developers say.
IdaHops Real Estate is the operating entity. Dean McKay and Jamie Scott are co-managers. McKay will serve as general manager, and Parma native D.J. Tolmie will be operations manager.