Brewers and farmers need strong relationships. Take hops for instance. A hop breeder and a craft brewer should expect beautiful hops that are good for pest and disease resistance, high yields and creativity of new aromas and flavors. As far as farmers go, craft brewers should expect a loyal, hard-working partnership. Hop farming is a long-term business. When a grower makes the investment in the wire work and posts to support a new hop yard, he or she is hoping that the investment will be good for decades. Growers are very dedicated, working hard to deliver the highest quality hops often against all the odds — like the weather — and in return they are seeking a partnership from their customers and brewers.
The video is a great example of how a brewery should approach finding and choosing hop breeders. Every year during the hop harvest, the Founders Brewing Co. crew visits its hop growers out in Yakima Valley, Wash., to select the hops that we will use the following year. This year, brewers Jeremy Kosmicki and Laura Houser brought a camera along to document the trip so craft beer enthusiasts could get an inside look at what goes into the harvesting, processing and selection of hops. This video captures our first week out in Yakima as well as some footage from our local farms in Michigan. Enjoy.