Last year, I was out at the hop harvest too. This year, I had a baby. Pfft. Anyway, last year Founders Brewing Co. Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki was also out at the hop harvest. In fact, he shared an awesome photo blog with us. Kosmicki and Founders were out there again for 2017, meeting with hop farmers, surveying operations and checking out this year’s harvest. Founders has released three videos so far recounting their adventures. Feel free to start with the intro video above:
After a few hours of travel, our team kicked off Hop Harvest Week 2017 with a visit to our friends at Cornerstone Ranches. Located in the lower Yakima Valley, the ranch is owned by Graham Gamache, the fourth generation Gamache to be tilling the soil for beer’s sake. His family were among the first to discover that the Yakima Valley was a magical place to grow hops over 100 years ago.
Graham and his team rely on an antique hop picking machine, called a Fontaine, that was first used by his grandfather in 1948. Watching it work ‘round the clock, in this case to harvest Cashmere hops, is a sight to see.
We ran into some friends from Oskar Blues, who will be staying with us overnight at Graham’s farmhouse turned bed and breakfast. Always fun to catch up with other brewing crews. Day one down!
Visiting Perrault Farm during Hop Harvest Week 2017
Harvesting hops at CLS Farms in Yakima Valley during Hop Harvest Week 2017