WILDER, Idaho – (November 17, 2016) – To serve Idaho’s growing craft brew industry and foster stronger partnerships, community and business leaders broke ground on Mill 95 in Wilder, Idaho this afternoon. The facility will feature two cold storage buildings, the region’s first hops pelletizing mill, and a pilot brewery aimed at bringing brewers and hop farmers together.
Idaho is the nation’s third largest hop growing region with more than 5,000 acres planted. According to the Idaho Hops Commission, 75% of that acreage is located just west of Boise. Mill 95’s owners are building the facility in the heart of hop country, on 20 acres at the corner of Highway 95 and Howe Road in Wilder.
“Food and beverage manufacturing contribute $8.5 billion annually to Idaho’s economy, so agribusinesses like Mill 95 have the potential to make a significant impact,” said Celia Gould, Director of the Idaho State Department of Agriculture. “I am excited to see what opportunities this new plant will afford producers, surrounding communities and breweries.”
Two families with agriculture roots in the region have joined forces on this privately funded project. The McKays have a long history of hop growing in Oregon with an interest of doing more work in Idaho. The Scotts desire to help promote innovative agriculture in Idaho. After talking with hop farmers and brewers in the region about their needs, they developed the Mill 95 concept.
“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,” said Jamie Scott, Mill 95 co-founder. “This is an opportunity to really put Idaho on the map as a world-class hop region and keep hops in the state from start to finish rather than shipping them out to be processed as we do now.”
The existence of a local processing plant will minimize time that harvested crops spend exposed to the elements, and increase the value and reputation of Idaho grown hops. The Mill will sell pelletized hops to craft breweries locally and globally and offer consistently high quality products that facilitate the creation of exceptional beers that elevate Idaho as a world-class hop producer.
According to Idaho Brewers United, there are currently 54 breweries operating in Idaho. Through the pilot brewery and future development of public entertaining and gathering spaces, Mill 95 owners hope to create a location that fosters collaboration, experimentation and awareness of Idaho’s world-class product.
Construction is anticipated to take a year and a half and be done in phases. The processing plant, which turns fresh hops into pellets for the brewing process, is anticipated to be complete by Fall 2017. Mill 95 expects to employ 10 people once fully operational.
Dean McKay and Jamie Scott are co-managers of IdaHops Real Estate, the operating entity for Mill 95. McKay will serve as the General Manager with Parma native DJ Tolmie acting as Operations Manager.
About Mill 95
Mill 95 is a cold storage, processing plant and pilot brewery under construction in the heart of hop country, Wilder, Idaho. Mill 95 brings brewers and hop farmers together so that they can create drinkable works of art. Brewers get the hops they need, and farmers can grow the varietals that brewers want. Mill 95 seeks to elevate Idaho as a world-class hop producer and become the premier source for hops processing within the craft brew industry. For more information, visit http://mill95hops.com
About the Western Alliance for Economic Development
The Western Alliance for Economic Development serves rural Canyon and Owyhee Counties by providing economic and community development services. The Western Alliance works directly with and for the Cities of Greenleaf, Homedale, Marsing, Notus, Parma and Wilder. Services provided include Business Retention, Expansion and Business startup assistance along with grant-writing services. For more information, visit http://westernallianceed.org