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Billy Goat Hop Farm

our (whole) story

Billy Goat Hop Farm truly is Chris Della Bianca and Audrey Gehlhausen. The duo are the farmers, construction workers, mechanics, trellis builders, marketers, accountants, and beer enthusiasts behind the farm. The energy, enthusiasm, and love the couple puts into their farm is unlike any other.  

Chris

Chris grew up in Connecticut, where he earned his degree in Environmental Biology. After college, he headed west to follow his passion for plants and the outdoors. During that time, he worked on golf courses and landscaping, was a river guide in Alaska, poured (and drank) beer, traveled, and skied lots of pow in the Teton Mountains.

Billy Goat Hop Farm Owners

Audrey

Audrey grew up in southern Indiana and stayed there until graduating with a bachelor's in geology. After college, 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 and instructed Wilderness Therapy in Utah.

Hop Farming

A Chance Encounter & Putting Down Roots

Finally, fate intervened, and the two wanderers met on the Sublette chair lift at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in 2011. After a few years of living the seasonal life together, they decided it was time to put some roots down. After all, with a passion for good beer and a love of working outside, putting down literal roots seemed like a good fit. As a precursor, Chris got an internship at Jackson Hop Farm in Wilder, ID. On the farm, he worked to learn all aspects of growing, harvesting, and processing hops. In the fall of 2016, the two set out for yet another road trip - this time with a long-term purpose. They explored breweries, distributors, farms, and real estate across five states. After much research, they felt confident in fully committing to growing hops in beautiful Montrose, Colorado. 

A farm is born

With much patience, they found the perfect parcel that, over a decade ago, had once been home to barley for America's beer industry... pretty sweet!  After much sweat and many beers, the couple now have 32 trellised acres with a state-of-the-art drip irrigation system and 9  varieties of flavorful hops. The farm is also home to a full warehouse with a picker, dryer, baler, pelletizer, packager, and cold storage. They even have two outstanding new additions of the fur child variety: Étoufée and Mr. Grits Face!

The couple confess to having always loved mountain goats. They're the signature of mountain life: strong, stoic, beautiful, and a little silly. Since the majestic mountain goat makes its home just south of Montrose in the San Juan Mountains, the name Billy Goat Hop Farm felt kismet and just fell right into place.

There’s no telling what the future holds as they embark on the most incredible adventure of their lives— they're proud, excited, happy… and a little nervous! Who’s in for the journey?

A woman with her dogs

What’s in a name?

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