BSG Hops is a top hop supplier out of Wapato, Wash., which is in the Yakima Valley, which is basically hop Shangri-La come August and September. BSG has a state-of-the-art processing facility in the valley, controlling its entire supply chain from bale and storage to the shipping of its hop products. The company is immersed in one of the greatest growing regions in the world, so BSG always has its collective fingers (covered in lupulin) on the pulse come each harvest.
Earlier this year, BSG Hops welcomed Chad Kennedy as the company’s new hop specialist, and part of his job is sharing his enormous experience and knowledge of hops with the rest of us. Yesterday, Kennedy posted a recap of BSG Hops’ 2019 harvest, and there’s more than a few interesting nuggets in this excellent post to examine. Here’s 10 items I gleaned:
- 2019 can be called a “good” to very good year with decent returns on both oil and alpha.
- A cool and wet early spring, especially in the Yakima region, proved tough for many of the baby hop crops to overcome resulting in poor yields on many of the hops planted this year.
- Oregon hop growers found some of their crops underwater after severe rains in early April. It was hard to remember a time when flooding in fields was as bad.
- Cascade and Centennial crops were of notable quality.
- The Idaho hop growing region saw a similar cool and wet early 2019 season.
- Many Idaho growers saw a later-than-normal start to harvest, with many happily reporting good to exceptional quality.
- Like their neighbors to the west, Idaho fields delivered high oil and alpha numbers with overall yields a bit over average.
- Rain reappeared at the end of harvest and added a few challenges.
- While cool weather favors aroma varieties, logically it does also raise the previously mentioned challenge of baby plantings in addition to the specter of mildew issues.
- It was a fantastic year with particularly nice crops from Chinook, Cashmere and El Dorado.