18' tall trellis growing hops for YOUR beer!
Yakima, WA – 18′ tall trellis growing hops for YOUR beer!

I recently had the opportunity once again to drive across the Cascades from Seattle to Yakima for the start of the hop harvest.  Hosted by YCHHops (formerly Yakima Chief and Hop Union) it’s a great opportunity to talk shop with 170 brewers.  We were able to tour all of YCH including the hop extract facility before heading into the fields on day 2.

Perrault Farms in Toppenish, WA is where we started our field tour and went from there to their brand new processing facility.  The Perrault family have been growing hops in the Yakima valley since 1902 and are chock full of passion for everything hops.  Their facility has lots of bells and whistles (as you can see in the videos below) including some new technology for getting the cones off the bines.  This year was unseasonably cool compared to previous years when I have been over in eastern WA–it was in the 70’s during the day compared to typically baking in the mid-90’s.  Thank you once again to our vendor partner YCH for hosting me for another harvest!

fresh hop beer anyone?
fresh hop beer anyone?
200# bales lined up
200# bales lined upPerrault Farms in Toppenish, WA. . . .

. . . Simcoe hops just in for processing.  Separation leaf/stems from the cones via dimple belt.

. . . . Cleaned Simcoe hop cones, filling the kiln.

Kiln ready to be filled
Bales coming in to be pelletized.
Dried Simcoe hops waiting to head to the baler.
Several of the growers gave a Q&A session prior to our dinner next to the organic field of hops–wicked green!