California University of Pennsylvania will design and build a research hop farm as the craft beer industry continues to expand in the region.
Cal-U received a $72,500 grant from the state Liquor Control Board. The school will grow a “trial garden” of hops, focusing on sustainability, disease management and growing conditions.
A university spokeswoman said Cal U always looks for opportunities to educate students while also serving as a resource for the region’s business community.
At least four craft breweries have opened in recent years in Washington County, and one local brewery owner said it can be challenging to find the right hops to make certain beers.
Cal U is one of 14 schools in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education.