19,000 Brews Later And This Is Our Freshest Yet

We’re celebrating our favorite tradition of the harvest season at Rogue Farms. Naturally it has something to do with hops and beer.

This is the only time of year that Rogue Brewmaster John Maier crafts Wet Hop Ale. He uses the absolutely, positively freshest hops possible, ones we picked for him that morning at our hopyard in Independence, Oregon. From the moment we pulled the bines off the trellises, to the time John pitched the cones in the kettle, a mere 5 hours and 37 minutes have elapsed. That’s as fresh as it gets.

This year’s batch is extra special for another reason. More on that in a minute.


For the 2015 Wet Hop Ale, John is using Yaquina hops, the newest variety we grow at Rogue Farms.


We and John planted the starters two years ago. It takes that long for new hops to produced a harvestable crop. Farming is a long range proposition.


After picking, stripping, sorting and separating our Yaquina hops, we set aside some of the of cones before they go into the kiln for drying.


John wanted 999 pounds for this year’s batch of Wet Hop Ale.


When we were done, we loaded them for the 77-mile drive to the Rogue Brewery in Newport, Oregon.


When we were done, we loaded them for the 77-mile drive to the Rogue Brewery in Newport, Oregon.


But not without getting a big hug from Smash, Rogue’s Minister of Mayhem. Smash loves our hops almost as much as John Maier does.


Here’s why this year’s batch of Wet Hop Ale is so special. It’s John’s 19,000th brew for Rogue Ales and Spirits. For 27 years, John has crafted an amazing variety of World Class ales, porters, lagers, stouts, mead, braggot, and kolsch. In all, he’s earned 1,607 awards for quality and flavor.

Beer and spirits begin in the dirt. From the volcanic loess at our farm in Tygh Valley, to the alluvial loam at Rogue Farms in Independence, we’re pleased to be growing an entire proprietary palate of ingredients for John Maier as he marches on to brew number 20,000.