Hopsteiner is one of the Yakima Valley’s largest hop growing operations. First incorporated in 1845, this sixth generation growing, trading, breeding and processing firm continues to innovate and improve. Like any farmed produce, with hops there are seasonal differences and constant challenges from rain to pests and even fires, like the huge one back in 2006 that destroyed 4% of the nations hops. Today more than ever, hop farmers must remain on the cutting edge, with brewers constantly seeking the next trendy hop and new flavor that will transform their beer. Right now the name of the game is tropical fruit-flavored hops, but what will be next? And what are this year’s exciting new varietals? Smack dab in the middle of this year’s hop harvest, I talked to Bill Elkins, Hopsteiner’s Craft Brewery Account Manager for the Western United States and Canada about all of these things.
Originally published by New School Beer