our (whole) story
Billy Goat Hop Farm truly is Chris DellaBianca and Audrey Gehlhausen. They are the farmers, construction workers, mechanics, trellis builders, marketers, accountants, and beer enthusiasts behind the farm. The energy, enthusiasm, and love put into this farm is unlike any other.
Chris grew up in Connecticut where he earned his degree in Environmental Biology. He then headed out west to follow his passion of plants and outdoors, working on golf courses and landscaping, river guiding in Alaska, pouring beer, and skiing in the Teton Mountains.
We have always loved mountain goats - they're strong, stoic, beautiful, and a little silly. With their home just to the south of us in the San Juan Mountains, the name just fell into place.
We now are embarking on the greatest adventure of our lives - proud, excited, happy…. And a little nervous!
Audrey grew up in southern Indiana and stayed there until graduating with a bachelor's in geology. After which, she became a professional guide, working on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, Rogue River, and Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. She also guided cross-country ski trips through Yellowstone National Park, as well as instructing Wilderness Therapy in Utah.
Chris and Audrey met on the Sublette chair lift at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in 2011. After a few years of the seasonal life together, they decided it was time to put some roots down. With a love for good beer and working outside, literally putting roots down seemed like a good fit. Chris got an internship at Jackson Hop Farm in Wilder, ID. He got to work and learn about all aspects of growing, harvesting, and processing hops. Then in the fall of 2016, the two set out for yet another road trip - this time with long-term purpose. They explored breweries, distributors, farms, and real estate across five states. After much research, they felt confident in fully committing to hops in Montrose, Colorado.
With much patience, they found the perfect parcel that over a decade ago was home to barley for America's beer industry... pretty sweet! After much sweat and many beers, they now have 32 trellised acres with a state of art drip irrigation system and 11 varieties of beautiful hops. There's also a full warehouse with a picker, dryer, baler, pelletizer, packager, and cold storage. They even have an amazing new addition - a Catahoula farm puppy - Gumbo Ya Ya Gator Bate Pandemic!