The day we’ve been working for is here. The 2013 Rogue Farms hop harvest starts today with our Freedom Hops. They were the first of our varieties to grow cones this spring and the first to be ripe enough for picking.
John Maier is coming to personally set aside some of the Freedom Hops for this year’s batch of Wet Hop Ale. We’ll stuff the cones into burlap bags, load them into the truck, and then John will haul them back over the Coast Range to the Brewery in Newport where he’ll put them in the Wet Hop Ale kettle. From bine to brew in 2 hours and 17 minutes. Now that’s fresh.
But before we can pick a single bine, we’ve got to make sure all the picking and processing equipment is in ship shape.
A lot of the last minute work is taking place inside our processing facility. We don’t just grow hops – we also process them right here on the farm. That means stripping the bines, sorting out the leaves and arms, separating the cones, and then kilning, cooling and pressing them into 200 pound bales.
The mash of motors, fans, belts and blades resembles a Rube Goldberg contraption. We’ve been cleaning, lubricating and tuning up all the various parts so they work together in beautiful noisy harmony.
We’re harvesting a total of six varieties of hops this year. Our seventh hop, called Yaquina, was planted this spring and won’t be available for a harvest until next year.
Please join us at Rogue Farms for the hop harvest. The farm is beautiful this time of year and watching the harvest is a lot of fun.
Come see how we grow beer and spirits!