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Growinghops:Theheartofbeer

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美国雅基玛酒花 发表于 2020-9-12 02:50:51 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式 打印 上一主题 下一主题
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In theory, beer is a very simple drink – it basically consists of fermented grains. But of course, in that basic state, it wouldn’t taste like much. To unlock its distinctive flavour, we need another ingredient; a natural agent which grants beer its characteristic bitter edge and refreshing zest. And that ingredient is hops.

Commercially, hops are almost exclusively used for brewing beer, thus the farmers who decide to grow them are inevitably bound to the industry, as are the brands who dedicate themselves to hops. The shared goal which this bond entails creates a keen sense of comradery and collaboration between growers, distributors, researchers and management alike – the best example of this is Yakima Chief Hops, the renowned American global brand which, in fact, produces 75 per cent of all hops in the USA.


Yakima Chief is 100 per cent owned by a collective of hops farming families, united in a partnership founded on tradition, pride and innovation.

Most of the farmers have been growing hops in the area of the Yakima River (on the Pacific coast in the US) for generations going all the way back to 1869. The extensive expertise and know-how acquired throughout the years sits at the core of Yakima Chief’s success, while also being the fuel which propels the constant drive to be the supplier of choice for the world’s finest brewers.

As a farmer-owned company, Yakima Chief Hops is uniquely positioned to oversee the entire supply chain, from farm to kettle. This allows for greater traceability and transparency, ensuring that YCH offers the best quality hops at the right price, for both brewers and farmers. 


The pursuit of the finest hops begins even before they are planted, with research and development of new breeds. This is why Yakima Chief hops collaborates directly with Yakima Chief Ranches, a crop management company focused on meeting the everchanging needs of the market. In fact, some of the hop breeds developed there – like Citra and Mosaic – have established themselves as some of the most popular hop varieties in the world.

All of the new breeds researched by Yakima Ranches are fully integrated in the vertical production line of Yakima Chief Hops, which follows the product from the field to brewer. The company realisesthat, just like brewing, farming consists of a perfect balance between different variables, bearing the best fruits when performed with care and respect for nature – as so they created Green Chief, a programme which sets strong baselines, guidelines and practices to ensure all hops that enter and leave Yakima Chief Hops warehouses meet the highest quality standards.  

Yakima Chief Hops works together with their farmers to monitor quality and, through this programme, perform farm audits, facility assessments and data analysis, awarding farmers for their excellence in quality and identifying opportunities for improvement.


Land appreciation and environmental sustainability are particular points of emphasis for Yakima Chief Hops. Efforts to reduce the entire company’s carbon footprint ensure environmental initiatives are woven throughout the supply chain, from the water the hop farmers conserve to the solar panels on the warehouses, which have come a long a way in reducing electric consumption and waste. 

As many of the farmers started their businesses generations ago, the land where they farm has now become part of their culture – thanks to the advances in technology, ecological policies can benefit both the environment and the farmers, being ethical but also cost-effective. As such, sustainability applies not only to natural resources, but also to employee welfare and the surrounding communities, with initiatives and charitable programmes supporting the people who work for Yakima Chief and the groups around the company.


Hops are the flowers – even though they are referred to as cones – of a female hop plant. As mentioned, hops are employed as flavouring agents in most of the beers produced worldwide. Their properties can be traced back to their basic chemical components which, other than common elements such as water and cellulose, can be reduced to three categories.

·     Alpha acids, responsible for beer’s bitter profile 

·     Beta acids, which can intensify the flavour 

·     Essential oils, which mainly provide beer with its distinctive scent and aroma 

There are hundreds of different hop varieties from different regions, and each contains a unique alpha acid and oil content, imparting different flavor and aroma characteristics to beer. Characteristics can also vary based on the application, technique and timing used with a hop variety during the brewing process. 

Hop varieties can also be processed into an array of different products, from fresh whole leaf hops to advanced itemsEvery processing method influences the key features of the final product.Yakima Chief Hops’ diverse portfolio of hop products allows brewers to enhance their favourite beer styles using the most suited for the job, with a vast portfolio of hop varieties and styles to meet the needs of all brewers – click “Read more” at the end of this article to learn more about the hops it produces.



Hop pellets

This processing method takes a dried hop cone, hammers it until it’s pulverised and then forces it through special compression tubes to turn it into a firm pellet. Hop pellets are the most common type of hops used in the brewing process, especially in the commercial and industrial production, thanks to their storage and logistical advantages. 

Whole-leaf cones

As the name suggests, this processing technique leaves the cone whole. At Yakima Chief, after the hops are removed from the plant, they are quickly kiln-dried to an 8.5-10.5 per cent moisture level and then pressed into bales, all within hours of the harvest and directly on farm. This way of preserving the cone retains the entirety of the chemical properties of the hops.

Cryo Hops

Developed by Yakima Chief Hops, Cryo Hops represent the latest technology in term of hops processing, and holding the potential to revolutionise the entire brewing process.

This technique employs liquid nitrogen to freeze the whole cone. In this state, they can separate and extract smaller portions of the flower (the glands) and select those that carry the most alpha-acidic and oil content. The cones derived from this process, therefore, pack much more flavour and aroma than normal hops. So, using Cryo Hops in place of other types allows for half the required quantity typically needed for the brewing process. 

Fresh hops 

Yakima Chief also supplies batches of fresh hops as soon as they are harvested, before any treatment or processing. This gives brewers the chance to utilise the hops in the purest form possible for even more layers of flavour and aroma. 


Always working towards cutting edge brewing solutions, data-driven resources and premium quality products, Yakima Chief works to be one step ahead of the current trends in the brewing market, from improving the entire supply chain, to collaborating with farmers and breeders to improve hop quality and develop new varieties, to pioneering new hop processing technologies and research. 

As Yakima Chief Hops spreads their wings in the Chinese and Asia markets, beer-lovers rejoice.


【 This post is sponsored by Yakima Chief Hops. 】





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