Fresh Hop Season: Ninkasi Heads to the Farm!Sep 20, 2013 Comments (0)
Do you know how fresh the fresh hops in your fresh-hopped beer are? (Say that five times fast!) At Ninkasi, our fresh hops are so fresh that during hop harvest, our brewers get them from the vine to the brewery in just a few short hours! We can make this extreme freshness happen because we are fortunate enough to brew our beer just a few miles down the road from some of the most aromatic and impressive hop farms in the Pacific Northwest.
When harvest time comes around in early autumn, our brewers head out to the farms to select the highest quality hops and spend some time with the farmers who work hard to cultivate the harvest. (And map out the quickest route back to the brewery!)
The second you set foot onto Sodbusters Farm, every single one of your senses is overwhelmed. The intoxicating aroma makes you want to set up a tent outside the farm and never stop inhaling; the endless fields of towering green bines and the roar of the harvest machines lure you into the acres and acres of crops; and the trucks speeding by full of freshly harvested hops leave you sticking out your thumb in hope of catching a ride to wherever the heck they’re bringing the beds overflowing with freshly cut stalks of hops.
It’s an absolute Disneyland for hop-heads.
Miraculously, Doug Weathers, the third-generation owner and hop grower at Sodbusters, didn’t immediately kick our group out for drooling all over his front step. Instead, he led us through a tour of the farm, showing us how he is able to harvest the hops at their peak freshness and have hundreds of pounds of fresh green cones ready for our brewers to rush back to the brew house.
We brew every batch of beer to support communities coming together and sharing experiences to perpetuate better living. During hop harvest, there’s no better way to do this than to start at the source of one of our favorite ingredients.
When you track down your first fresh-hopped beer this fall, make sure you give a big cheers to the hop farmers and honor the harvest!
Big thanks to Kayley Hoddick for capturing these awesome photos!