Hop harvest season is in full swing! Beer lovers in the Northwest should be proud to know that most of our nation's hops are grown in Oregon and Washington. Two weeks ago, Ninkasi Brewing Co. invited me to join them on a tour of Sodbuster Farms, in Salem. Sodbuster grows twelve varieties of hops and has been family-owned and operated for five generations!
As part of the harvest process, hop bines (which grow up to 25 feet high in a single season) are first cut down. Next, the hops are mechanically separated from the bines, dried and packaged. In order to harvest at the peak of ripeness, hop growers run their operations around the clock during the short 4-5 week season.
During the past four years, I've made annual visits to local hop farms during harvest. The sights, sounds, and especially the smells never get old! I think the pictures explain why, so I'll let them do the talking...
Thanks to Ninkasi and Sodbuster Farms for a great day—and plenty of delicious beer!
|Jubilant Jamie Floyd, Ninkasi Co-Founder and Brewmaster|