They say education is the key to success. And when it comes to hops, there’s no greater education to be had than taking part in the annual Hop Harvest in September—along with a sprinkling of lectures highlighting many of the technical and practical aspects of hops and brewing.
The Barth-Haas Hops Academy holds numerous educational sessions at venues around the world, but Yakima, Washington at hop harvest is one of the most anticipated. As much fun as Hop Harvest can be, this is not just a casual stroll through the hop fields and social gatherings.
At the Barth-Haas Hops Academy, brewers large and small get a chance to take part in intimate and highly interactive experiences. There are in-depth lectures and presentations from experts in the world of hops and brewing, as well as hands-on, behind-the scenes tours of the hop farms and processing facilities of John I. Haas, Inc.
This year, we were pleased to welcome guest lecturers Jason Perrault and Zac German from Select Botanicals Group, LLC in the Yakima Valley. Haas partnered with Select Botanicals many years ago to form a joint venture known as the Hop Breeding Company (HBC). HBC is well known for the development of Citra®, Mosaic® hops, as well as the recently released Equinox® hop variety.
The program is not all serious stuff, though. Aside from the lectures and presentations, there’s the wonder of the hops in the field and the excitement of the harvest. And, of course, there is plenty of beer tasting! During the course, a selection of single-hop variety beers produced at the Haas Innovations Brewery were highlighted illustrating the vast potential of flavorful hops and the amazing contributions they provide to beer.
We also had lots to celebrate. Each year, the Barth-Haas Hops Academy is proud to be sponsor of a Pink Boots Society scholarship, created to empower women beer professionals to advance their careers in the beer industry through education. This year’s scholarship went to Cheyenne McCarthy from Fallbrook Brewing in Los Angeles. Congratulations Cheyenne!
And as a special recognition, the Hops Academy hosted a pair of 2015 champion beer sommeliers from July’s world competition in Rio de Janeiro; the Brazilian champion, Gil Lebre Abbade Franco, and the World Champion, Simonmattia Riva, (check out our interview with Simonmattia). It was certainly a pleasure to have them in attendance.
All in all, it was a great program this year with enthusiastic participants who went away with a greater understanding and appreciation for hops. We hope you can join us for next summer’s harvest, and take part in the 2016 Barth-Haas Hops Academy in Yakima.