Among the Barth-Haas Hops Academy programs I’m involved with each year, the annual “Harvest Edition” is one of my favorites. There’s huge excitement here in Yakima during harvest with brewers galore and events stretching from late August through September. But also, a Hops Academy program takes on even more relevance when it’s in Yakima during this most important time of year. Here in the center of the U.S. hops experience, theory suddenly becomes reality – all around you. It’s in the air, in the beer and of course, right under your nose.
It’s also because the Hops Academy takes on even more relevance when it’s held in Yakima, the cradle of hops production, during Harvest, our most important time of year. Suddenly, our theory-based learning is manifested around us: in the air, in the beer, and right under your nose.
The Harvest Edition of the Hops Academy is an intimate affair. Over the years, we’ve stretched it to 40 participants to meet the high demand—but it can go no larger. We keep it small to maintain the individual attention that makes it special.
At John I. Haas, we feel very strongly about hops education. Hops Academy is about taking time for deep learning about this unique plant called hops and its irreplaceable contribution to beer. We cover hop botany, breeding, cultivation and harvesting, as well as discussing the wide selection of hop products and the all-important flavor effects. The academy course is two days of pretty intense stuff; we even get technical with a bit of chemistry to help explain why hops do what they do. Along with that, we also provide advice on getting the most from the hops through the efficient use of hop products and applications in your brewing program. If you talk to someone who’s been to this Harvest Edition, chances are you’ll hear good things. No doubt it’s two days very well spent.
Plus, the setting can’t be beat. If you’ve never been to Yakima for the hop harvest, I guarantee that you’ll find it exceptional: the high desert climate; the majesty of the hops hanging tall in their trellises; the harvest operations, which are unique among crops. Then there’s the “How It’s Made” aspect of the hop processing facilities—which, alone, is pretty fascinating. And finally, the beer – whether you’re enjoying some of the experimental selections from our Haas Innovations Brewery or other brews available in the Yakima area. Of course we must give mention to the SportsCenter, a famous Yakima landmark and watering hole growing ever more popular with brewers worldwide. This is the stuff memories are made of.
The limited spots available for the Hops Academy-Harvest Edition are filling up fast. Contact us today to see if there are still openings – or be sure to get your name in early for the 2018 edition, by emailing me at Tim.Kostelecky@johnihaas.com. It’s two days of hops enlightenment that we know will keep you coming back to the Yakima Valley and enjoying the magic, and romance of the hop, year after year.