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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Oregon Hop Harvest

Each year I look over my shoulder and see that the rest of the country is gaining on us.  Oregon is no longer such a rare and special beer place.  Other cities have dozens of breweries, great alehouses, gastropubs, and so on.  And a few are even near a field or two of hops.  But exceedingly rare are the cities a mere 45 minutes from a major hop-growing region.  (Even Seattle is over two hours from Yakima.)  We have come to revel in this proximity.  Each year, buses of hop tourists ferry down to the fields to gape in wonder.  (Today Ninkasi is taking a busload down.)  On Monday, the good folks at Full Sail packed us into two buses provisioned with ale and lager and down we went to Sodbuster Farms where owner Doug Weathers was our host.

Below are a few choice pictures from the day.  John Foyston has some more (including one of me that is unusually not terrible).  I'm loading a short video onto Vimeo that I'll post when ready.  [now live.]  Enjoy--

Now that's a field of dreams.

They're Cascades, in case you were wondering.

The professionals know how to grow 'em big.

No finer table garland. The lunch was excellent, too.

Easily the most impressive part of the tour is the hop kiln.
Two feet deep, the size of a football field--can you
imagine the aroma?

1 comment:

  1. Rare but not unique. As Stachel Paige [reportedly] said: "Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you'"
    .. Eg, last week I picked Cascade hop in Arvada: 17.5 miles /28 minutes from Boulder, 17 miles / 30 minutes from Denver. I will be going back several times this week. Fresh hops is this farms biggest market.
    .. From this 2012 Colorado Hops farm maps.Google - - you find 10 hops farms on the Colorado Front Range where there 3-4-5 dozens craft breweries.
    Further, the number of hop farms has increased in the past years.
    .. The Golden Age of Beer in 'Merica?