#HopFarms Archives – PorchDrinking.com
21st Amendment recently released their Imperial IPA collaboration with family-owned hop farm, CLS Farms. Close Encounters of the Hop Kind is a Double IPA using some of the new and innovative hops coming out of Yakima Valley. Eric Desmarais, co-founder of CLS, was on hand at a recent event to walk people through the process that brewers go through to chose certain hops. Using El Dorado, Cashmere, Zappa, and their new CLS-X14 as examples for what different hops evoke and express.
While Oktoberfest style beers and Pumpkin Ales get all the attention as summer turns to fall, true beer fans know what September brings: fresh hop season. Fresh hops or wet hops, depending on who you talk to, are only available for an extremely limited time frame and are usually brewed within a day of being picked. Their distinct flavor and unmistakable aroma are as exciting for brewers as they are for beer fans. But the story doesn’t start with the harvest—it starts years earlier under the care of hops farmers.
With fresh hop season quickly approaching, we chatted with Jake TeSelle, founder of Crooked Yard Hops, to discuss every beer lover’s favorite ingredient: hops.
When talking about American hop production, the Pacific Northwest quickly springs to mind. However, hop farms exist in almost every corner of the country. Their size may be measured in tens, not thousands, of acres, but these growers have an outsized impact with craft brewers on the lookout for local-grown, quality ingredients.
The Big-3 states of hop growing—Washington, Oregon and Idaho—account for nearly 100% of U.S. hop production, according to statista.com. And yet, hops are grown in virtually every state, even as far south as Florida.
Sprawling across 1,700 acres in Idaho’s northern most region lies the world’s largest contiguous hop farm. Elk Mountain Farms, located in Bonner’s Ferry, Idaho, just 10 miles from the Canadian border, produces a majority of the hops used by Anheuser Busch InBev’s (ABI) High End Brands Division.