One of our favorite parts of the annual Hop Harvest in Yakima is being able to meet brewers and industry professionals face to face. It’s an opportunity to not just make new friends, but to share knowledge, discuss industry trends and identify issues that are affecting brewers coast to coast—and around the world. Maybe this is why the Barth-Haas Hops Academy is such a well-attended event, year after year.
This year we welcomed 46 attendees representing Iceland, China, Chile, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, the United States and even the Pink Boots Society. They joined us for sensory evaluations, hops workshops and plenty of networking and socializing.
Hops Academy is a great way to improve your understanding of hops—both as a key brewing ingredient and as a critical piece of the brewing supply chain. During this two-day event, we discussed Hop Botany & Cultivation and Hop Breeding & Variety Development along with Hop Quality Evaluation and the Sensory Aspects of Hops. Next, we dove into Hop Chemistry and Hops in Brewing—Traditional & Dry Hopping. We also looked at Hop Supply & Crop Update along with some Advanced Hop Products & Applications.
But it wasn’t all classroom work. The attendees were able to get out into the hop fields to touch and smell our beloved hops picked fresh off the trellises. We toured our pellet processing and hop storage facilities, as well as the CO2 Extraction and Advanced Products Plants. And don’t forget the Haas Innovations Brewery where attendees can sample beers brewed with both traditional and experimental hops varieties.
After the first day, there was a BBQ dinner held in the Innovations Brewery beer garden. There, attendees got a chance to meet Haas’ brewing, technical, and sales teams, and even mingle with brewers from around the world who were in town for hops selection.
Thank you to everyone who traveled some pretty amazing distances to attend this year’s Hops Academy. And congratulations, too, to Mallorie King, the Pink Boot’s Society scholarship winner! We hope you had as much fun—and found it as rewarding—as we did.