The hop harvest is coming. [Me rubbing hands greedily, but only practicing my hand-rub analysis for aroma evaluation.] Unfortunately, I don’t imagine there will be a ton of visits to the Pacific Northwest or maybe even local hopyards in 2020 with the ongoing pandemic. [Me kicking empty beer can sadly.]
Well, I guess if you can get out to Oregon, Crosby Hop Farm has just opened up its outdoor beer garden, which is surrounded by a lush field of Centennial hops on its 600-acre farm. Even if you can’t get out to the PNC this late summer and fall, Yakima Chief Hops (YCH) is hoping it can transport the feeling of the harvest over the internet. YCH just announced it will host a virtual event for the entire month of September available for free and to the public, offering a behind-the-scenes look at hop harvest along with brewing seminars. From the press release:
“This is a rare opportunity where we invite the world to see where great beer truly begins and meet the talented people that make it happen” says YCH CEO Ryan Hopkins. “We know that breweries are among the businesses that have been hit the hardest by COVID-19. We want to show our support by offering this event to everyone virtually for the first time ever while keeping our global communities safe.”
This is mostly free, and it typically isn’t. Usually, this opportunity is limited to a few hundred select brewing customers and paid attendees through YCH’s annual Hop & Brew School, noting some sessions require fees for mailed materials and have limited availability. Lasting the full month of September, the event will feature different sessions each day, including farm and facility tours, interviews with farmers, hop and brewing related educational seminars and new hop variety announcements. Session recordings will be made available, but participants are encouraged to join the live Q&As.
To view the schedule, visit virtualharvest.com.