Winter is off to a cold start at Rogue Farms in Tygh Valley, Oregon.
We had that cold snap early in December when overnight lows dipped into the single digits – about 20 degrees colder than normal.
And then, two weeks ago, the thermometer outside the Farmstead Malt House registered a bone chilling -15ºF.
It’s a good thing that, along with all the cold weather, we got plenty of snow.
Snow plays a very important role on our barley farm. The Risk™ malting barley we planted this fall is little just a couple of inches tall – tiny green shoots that are vulnerable to extreme cold. But a layer of snow is like wearing a blanket. It protects the barley from winter’s harsh temperatures.
And on those days when temperatures are back in the normal range, the snow will slowly melt into the soil, providing the roots of our malting barley with badly needed moisture. It’s a perfect drip irrigation system.
The terroir of the Tygh Valley Appellation makes our farm an ideal location for growing malting barley. Mt. Hood and the Cascades cast a giant rain shadow over the farm that keeps out the worst winter storms. Temperatures rarely go south of 20ºF. Risk™ malting barley is hardy enough to handle that kind of weather.
But when extreme cold does comes our way, Mother Nature seems to know exactly what we need and provides us with a snowy blanket to protect our barley for another winter.
Besides, the snow is beautiful to look at.
As an agricultural based brewer and distiller, we at Rogue Farms know how important the right is terroir is for growing beer and spirits. It’s what helps us create a proprietary palate of known flavors for Brewmaster John Maier, made from the kind of ingredients that he can’t find anywhere else on Earth.
Please join us this winter at our farms, and see how we grow beer and spirits.