Final day for orders. 


photo by Olson & Son Hopyard media director and CFO Karin.

Hard at work brewing beer this weekend here is the Olson & Son Hopyard and Brewing crew, with assistant brewer holding on to the 30 minute hop addition of .75oz of Chinooks. 
Just a quick not to remind everyone that today is the final day for orders of your very own Olson & Son Hopyard t-shirt, until next year. Click this link to order. 
Thank you all so very much for your interest and enthusiasm for our little project. Every t shirt sale helps us not only keep this fun hobby going but more importantly helps us maintain Liam’s medical equipment and needs. 

Your generosity has floored us all and I am so happy that so many of you have joined in the fun. I can’t tell you how much it cracks me up that in about three weeks people all over the country will be rocking their O&SH gear. 
Cheers! And thank you. 

5 days left 

   This morning I posted this picture of my Willamette hops to Instagram. Aside from maybe a shot here or there during brewing this fall it will be the last picture of the hopyard’s season. 
Which for me is kind of sad. 

Four years ago when I planted four rhizomes (one variety didn’t make it) the last thing I expected was for dozens of people all over the country to eventually start interacting with me in so many different ways. But in taking so many pictures of the Hopyard year after year a strange overlap occurred between parents of children with complex medical needs and disabilities and hop farmers, homebrewers and even some professional Brewers. What’s funny is that now I get questions from homebrewers and other beer folk about Liam, and questions from special needs parents and other medical folk about beer.

 It’s a special little community you’ve all created, and I couldn’t be more proud or humbled by it all. 

So when I decided to sell Hopyard t-shirts and set a goal for printing 50 of them I wasn’t exactly sure we’d make it, despite Karin’s assurances. As usual though, she was right, and I was wrong. Within 36 hours 50 shirts had been ordered fairy teeing a printing of as many as we can sell. What amazed me more than the amount though was who was buying. People we have never met before. Some were from people that didn’t even follow me on social media but had heard about the sale on Facebook or from some big hop farms who had seen the sale because of a hashtag and passed it along. 

The Olson & Son Hopyard shirts aren’t only going to friends and family. These shirts are going all over the country, to be worn by homebrewers, hop farmers, and special needs families all over the place and it absolutely has blown my mind. Thank you to all of you out there who have ordered, and Thank you to all of you who have shared. 

There are 5 days left to get one these beauties. They make awesome gifts, look pretty sweet and once this sale ends they won’t be sold again.

If you are able, and you enjoy the content I share here on the blog or on Twitter, and Instagram, Please help support the Hopyard and help us support the medical equipment costs associated with Liam’s medical needs by sharing this link far and wide before September 1st. 

The Olson & Son Hopyard staff aren’t just here in Riverside Rhode Island. They’re everywhere that have heard of Liam, and everywhere that like to see my photos of growing a backyard hopyard. 

Catching up.


I posted this picture on Instagram and Twitter the other day with the caption 10pm. Instagram and Twitter is where I spend most of my online time, time obviously not spent blogging these days. An online friend on twitter who knows me more for my home brewing content than my special needs parenting content commented how crazy it was that we had so many medical supplies in the home. I laughed and relayed that Liam’s medical chest is nothing, he should see the spare room literally filled with feeding tube, suction, and ventilator supply, and that this was our normal. The “craziness” of medical supplies in our house had worn off long ago.

It got me thinking that maybe that was why I haven’t been blogging. The “crazy” stuff just hasn’t been happening very much. Which is a good thing. A very good thing. But I’ve never been very good with making the normal every day stuff very interesting. (That’s my friend Elizabeth’s game. In between posts about Great Big Things she manages to make the everyday things seem even more crucial and important.) Sure, a month-long hospital stay or a blizzard hits and I’m cranking out multiple 2500 word posts but make it through an entire summer without a hospital visit or not needing to give Liam Diastat or Versed to medically intervene with a seizure SINCE MAY(!!!!!!!) and boom! the posts just dry right up.

That, my friends, is what we call burying the lede.


School has started again and picking up right where he left off Liam has taken to it like a fish to water. Still young enough to only go half day (thank you very much December birthday) we moved him into the afternoon session since he is not a morning person at all  and that has proven to be the right choice. By all accounts from his nurse (who sent home the picture below last week) and teacher he is making friends and staying awake, alert and engaged for most of every day. An improvement from last year when the opposite was true.

In fact tomorrow is our very first Parent/ Teacher Night! I’m probably a bit more excited about this than I should be but anytime we get to enjoy those “normal” parenting things we relish it.  I can’t wait.


And in the meantime I made a pretty delicious beer.


Arnold Street Ale.

It’s a bit sweeter than I wanted it to be and the carbonation and head retention need some work, ( I know exactly what I need to do about both of these things and the next batch of this particular recipe will be better) but it’s the first beer that I wrote the recipe for and is also the first beer that 100% of the hops used were grown in my backyard. Hence the name. I may have been brewing for the last 2 years but this one felt like the first time and I love it.