Yakima Valley Hop Farms: A Gallery

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Yakima Valley Hop Farms: A Gallery

If you’re drinking a beer right now, there’s a good chance the key ingredient came from Washington’s Yakima Valley. This broad, desert-like valley sits at the bottom of the Cascade Mountain Range, with a climate that’s perfect for growing the world’s favorite weed. In fact, more than 75% of America’s hops are grown in this valley. With long, sunny days, dry conditions but easy access to irrigation, Yakima is one of the few places in the world where hops planted in the spring can be harvested in the fall of the same year. Family-owned farms grow everything from Centennial to experimental hops that don’t even have a name yet, but the area is most famous for growing Willamette, Cascade and Mt. Hood varieties. Hop harvest typically begins at the end of August and continues into October. This is the time of year that brewers fuss over freshly plucked cones and rush them to their brew kettles for fresh hop beers. In this gallery, we take a look at a few of the hop farms that have been growing the cornerstone ingredient in American beers for decades.