It’s been more than a year since CL first checked in with Twin Bays Hop Farms. At the time, founder Brenden Markopoulos was in the process of tapping into hydroponic farming with an 11,000-square-foot greenhouse for his fresh, sustainable Florida hops.
Markopoulos, who serves as master grower, remains dedicated to bringing the first hydroponic hop farm in the Southeast to St. Petersburg — the custom greenhouse structure is complete, bug screen and all. But what will end up occupying the 24,000-square-foot indoor portion of Twin Bays’ large property at 3201 39th Ave. N., where a 30-barrel brewhouse was previously planned, is now up in the air.
According to Markopoulos, a brewery is still a possibility. He and the team have a couple of other options, too.
Another significant change? Twin Bays has redesigned its plant management process. Now, the farm relies heavily on photoperiod control, which allows for the manipulation of the light cycle over the course of each plant’s growth.
The crew is getting closer to the first harvest of their 4,464 plants, which are scheduled to arrive in early October.
“Three months after that’ll be right around when the first harvest happens,” Markopoulos said.