I started home-brewing back in the early 90's when it first became legal. The selection was limited and most of the malt came pre-hopped. I think they call them "20 minute boils" now, brewed in the family stew pot and fermented in a plastic bucket. Single stage, it was cloudy and took a couple of batches until your guts could handle all the yeast. The only "tweeking" you could do was in the finish hops. I was instantly hooked on the sensual overload you got when you stuck your nose in a bag of hop flowers, even the unreliably frozen kind. Not to mention how a good finish hop would bring a ho-hum 20 min. boil to life. My brothers thought I was a wizard; my wife thought I had skipped a rail. (Typical wine drinker) As happens, life got complicated. The home-brew store wasn't making much money and converted to a brewery. Excellent honey mead, but they quit selling home-brew supplies. We had our son, I got promoted and time for even a 20 min boil dropped off. Three years ago I was complaining about the price of good beer and my wife replied, "You should try making your own again". I love getting told to do something I want to do anyway. Wow! Have things changed. The verity of kits, malt styles, specialty grains, yeasts and hundreds of hop strains was an amateur chemists wet dream. I spent days researching hop properties, flavors, smell, bittering characteristics and their effects on various ale styles. But when going through the Northern Brewer website and finding rhizomes... That, I had to try myself.We live in the Rockies, over 6000 ft., in western Wyoming. The realistic growing season is about 3 months. It doesn't quit freezing until June and starts back up in September. Everyone with a garden has a greenhouse. Hops don't fit in a greenhouse. I had to try anyway. The rocky soil needed help. I dug up the top 6", 18" wide and set it aside. I then dug up the next 6" and used it for fill somewhere else. After removing all the rocks from the top soil, there wasn't much left. With a mixture of steer manure, peat moss and bagged garden soil, I filled the hole with something I thought would grow vines. I set 2- 12" square cement footings with 4" deck mounts 16 feet apart. Stood 2- 16' pressure treated 4x4 posts in the mounts and a laid a 16' 4x4 post across them with eye screws every 12 inches on the under side. Adding 3' 45deg supports in the corners and guy wires mounted half way up the posts, I then dropped twine from each of the eye screws and ordered rhizomes. I picked 3 types. Willamette, Sterling, and Columbus. Willamette is such a great finish hop for light ales. I also like dark, smokey, spicy beer on occasion and Sterling works well in them. My favorite beer is the relatively new NW American Pale Ales. The piney, citrisy hops with light, clean, clear malt is the perfect finish to a long day. Genius! I ordered 2 of each as required and planted them as soon as they arrived. For whatever reason, my bag of Columbus had 3 rhizomes in it. Sweet! They are planted a little closer together than recommended but that has not seemed to bother them one bit. This seems to be the perfect climate for Columbus. One of the Willamette's came up to about a foot and just withered away. The other produced about an ounce this year. I still have hope. One of the Sterling never broke the surface. I guess that's why they recommend buying 2 of each variety. This year the other Sterling had 3 vines reach about 10' and one vine produced a single, small flower. I still have hope for them as well.All three of the Columbus came up and I even got a hand full of small flowers the first year. They smelled amazing! This was going to work. This year the Columbus sprouted while there was still snow on the ground. I left the numerous shoots on the ground for a while and they ignored the frequent frosts. Once the danger of frost was mostly over, I clipped off all but four shoots from each base and wound them around the hanging twine. They were already 3-4 feet long! They grew at an incredible rate. My wife had kidded me about the 16 foot high frame saying there was no way the vines would get that high. I assured her they would need every inch. (Fingers crossed) This year the Columbus vines hit the top in mid-summer. At harvest time, one vine had grown 6 feet along the top support, 2 feet down one of the Sterling strings, then across the other 3. I love being right too. Early on a herd of deer ran through my yard and crushed the Columbus plant in the middle and broke off all four of the vines. It survived, but didn't produce any more vines. They also snapped several of the strings from the other plants as well. With three good vines from one base run all the way up to the top, two wound up the side post and one getting into a close-by aspen from the other base, I manged to get and estimated dry weight of about 8 ounces. I had a couple of grain socks and have it all hanging up in the kitchen to dry.I'm not the kind of guy who spends much time sniffing flowers, but every time I walk through the kitchen I stop to smell these babies!! I can't wait to try a pale SMASH with home-grown Columbus hops. Cheers!!