Coopérative de Solidarité Houblon Pontiac unveils new Seal of Quality

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Added: Thu, 08/30/2018 - 12:02am
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MRC Pontiac Warden Jane Toller, Cooperative President Mireille Allard, Charles Allard from Houblonnière Lupine, Pontiac MNA André Fortin, Brittany Morin from the SADC and Jeremi Vaillancourt, MRC Pontiac Tourism Marketing Consultant.

Peter L. Smith

L’ISLE-AUX-ALLUMETTES – The Cooperative de Solidarite Houblon Pontiac (founded in 2012) hosted a special get together on August 22 at Houblonnière Lupine Hop Yard, owned and operated by Charles Allard and his sister Mireille Allard, to unveil their new Seal of Quality label.
The Seal, which bears the acronym PQP (Premium Quality Pellets), also indicates that labeled products conform to guidelines set out by the Cooperative that aim to improve the quality of hops pellets produced in the Pontiac, Québec, and Canada; it was drawn up by Mireille Allard, Cooperative president.   
The Seal came about as a result of new hops pelletizing equipment purchased by the Cooperative in March 2016. The machine produces premium quality pellets that are better than those generated in other areas of eastern North America. Houblonnière Hopyard and the Cooperative, partners in this initiative, will share their research results and expertise with other Cooperative members to continue improving the hops produced in the Pontiac.
MRC Pontiac Warden Jane Toller stressed the importance of agriculture in the Pontiac; it represents 31% of all businesses in the region. “This is a very exciting time for Pontiac hops producers and the potential for more growth is there,” she said, noting the L'Ancienne Banque brewery in L'Isle-aux-Allumettes uses hops from Houblonnière Lupine. 
Allard took attendees on a tour of the hops yard and explained the labour intensive process of growing and harvesting hops, which begins in May and ends in August. Guests were able to see finished hops pellets and sample products Square Timber Brewing Company created using hops.
Houblonnière Lupine, established in 2009, grows 10 varieties of hops over 11 acres of land: Cascade, Nugget, Centennial and others. The plants grow 18-22 feet tall, some gaining a foot per day in their prime growing time. The farm has an irrigation system to ensure adequate hydration.