“For the first time in its history the Cascade Cup is leaving the states of Washington and Oregon and heading to the Rocky Mountain State,” says Hop Quality Group Spokesperson Matt Gallagher. The Cascade Cup is the ultimate challenge for the best Cascade hops in the country. This yearly competition allows growers from all over the United States to showcase their best Cascade crops.
That 2023 Cascade Cup winner is Billy Goat Hop Farm — the first time Billy Goat has entered the competition.
Billy Goat Hop Farm Founders and Co-Owners Chris DellaBianca and Audrey Gehlhausen were surprised and delighted to receive the Cascade Cup. “We were lucky to be able to attend the Hop Convention last year where we learned that a Cascade Cup even existed. So this year we thought, what the heck let’s send a sample in,” says Gehlhausen. “When Chris told me that we won, I thought he was just trying to fool me. Then Vinnie Cilurzo, the co-founder of Russian River Brewery, called to congratulate us. We’ve been flying high ever since.”
A panel composed of brewing professionals in the Hop Quality Group blindly picks a winner based on appearance, aroma, and hop analysis. Cascade was chosen because it is the most widely grown variety and not proprietary, allowing most farmers nationwide to participate.
Seventeen brewers across the country have utilized Billy Goat’s award-winning Cascade hops, including Steel Bender Brewyard in Albuquerque that has been the largest purchaser of this variety.
At 32 acres, Billy Goat is able to stay more hands-on in every aspect of farming and processing than the typical 500 plus acre farm. Their smaller size also allows them to catch pests and disease early, dramatically decreasing the need for chemical inputs. Using multiple soil health practices, Billy Goat takes pride in creating a vital living ecosystem that sustains not only plants, but animals and humans too— while also conserving water. 2022 marks Billy Goat’s largest harvest yet with all varieties finally reaching maturity. They stay dedicated to producing all of their varieties with the same high quality care.