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Other Side of Growing Beer at Rogue Farms

The hops have been picked; the pumpkins, shipped; the peppers, collected. But there’s always more to do even after harvest has ended.


On a fall morning in the Willamette Valley, fog veils a starkly empty hopyard, remaining pieces of coir that once supported rapidly growing hops hang from above and a few dead bines still cling to the hop poles reaching into the sky. It’d make a good setting for a scary movie — especially this time of year. But there’s more life here than you might expect.

A foggy morning in the Rogue Farms hopyard.
A foggy morning in the Rogue Farms hopyard.

Sure, hop harvest came to a close in September. Then we picked the remaining pumpkins last week. We’ve also collected all the cucumbers, a plethora of peppers, coriander and angelica root from our garden.

But that doesn’t mean we’re done here.

The entrance to the Revolution Garden at Rogue Farms in Independence, Ore.
The entrance to the Revolution Garden at Rogue Farms in Independence, Ore.

Our Plant Whisperer, Stacia is preparing for the winter. She’ll need to clear out the Revolution Garden and remove all the summer crops. Winter floods are commonplace in the Willamette Valley (one of the reasons this is a perfect location to grow our beer and spirits) — and we’re right on the banks of the river. Anything left in the garden could end up as debris we need to clear after a flood so removing it all now saves us extra work later.

Stacia works with her fellow Rogue Eric in the marionberry field at the height of harvest.
Stacia works with her fellow Rogue Eric in the marionberry field at the height of harvest.

Stacia and her team have also begun installing drip lines along the rows of our marionberry plants. Providing closer access to water will result in bigger berries for next year — and that means more marionberry brews.

Nearby, the farm is welcoming new ingredients. We planted Rainier Cherries and Golden Raspberries, at the request of our brewers. The fruit will be ready by next harvest.

Meanwhile, our potbelly pigs, Voo and Doo need to get ready for the upcoming cold. We doubled up their bedding in their little house to help keep them warm.

Doo inspects the pen around his home.
Doo inspects the pen around his home.

When it comes to growing beer and spirits, Mother Nature can always keep us busy. And we like it that way.