Late last year, Yakima Chief Hops officially launched its Organic Hops program. The program originally began as Organic Hops Northwest, a premier supplier of domestic organic hops to the American craft brewing industry. The company was founded by four hop-growing families in the Yakima Valley, including Roy Farms, Carpenter Ranches, Loftus Ranches, and Perrault farms, as a way to improve the link between the organic brewing community and the organic hop growers.
Beginning with the 2018 hop harvest, Organic Hops Northwest (OHN) and Yakima Chief Hops entered into a partnership, working to expand access to organic hops and enhance opportunities for the entire organic hops supply chain. Yakima Chief Hops will absorb Organic Hops Northwest, as they evolve the program and build on the solid foundations started by OHN.
Certified organic hops are produced according to the federal standards set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP). When producing organic hops, hop farms and hop processors must adhere to the regulations described in these specific standards in order to use the word organic or the USDA organic seal. Brewers who choose to brew organic beers must exclusively use certified organic ingredients.
“We are thrilled to launch our official Organic Hops program to supply a very important and growing market within the brewing industry,” says Ryan Hopkins, Vice President of North American Sales at Yakima Chief Hops. “Sourcing from local hop farms across the Pacific Northwest, we are excited to continue connecting family farms with the world’s finest brewers through this new program.”