HopDate October, 2009: 

Oil Re-discovered in Oregon!
IH Press, Oct. 2009

Rejoice Beer Drinkers! Oil has been discovered -- or, more accurately, re-discovered -- in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.  No, not the infamously tarry “Texas Tea” of lore, but Green Gold, in the form of a flower, thriving above ground thanks to the rare and wonderous confluence of rich soil, pure water, long summer days and the nurturing skills of seasoned farmers.

Humulus lupulus Oils
The flower is found on female plants of Humulus lupulus.  Magical oils from the Oregon-grown flowers were once the most sought after in the world for brewing premium beer.  Industrial brewers, however, shifted away from luscious aromatics and flavors, in favor of bitter extracts from beastly varieties of the plant with ominous names like Zeus and Hercules.  Oregon, along with its bounty of rich and plentiful lupulin oils, drifted into the background as industrial brews became lighter and devoid of character.

Meanwhile, a new breed of American brewer was rising up, getting stronger, chipping away at the big boy’s market share, fueled by an indomitable spirit to put quality over quantity, taste over potability, and wholesomeness above slickness. “Craft” brewers distributed flavorful, aromatic brews directly to a quality-conscious public through their own brewpubs, gradually developing a strong enough following to crack conventional distribution channels.  These independent-minded brewers were and continue to be drawn to Oregon’s magical oil.

The problem, before now, was that the hop processing infrastructure followed the industrial giants beyond the borders of Oregon, making the Willamette Valley’s premium hops elusive to most brewers. 

Now, an Oregon-based company -- Indie Hops, LLC-- is investing heavily to change the old ways.  Oregon aroma hops and craft beer is your proverbial match made in Heaven

“Our mission”, says owner Roger Worthington, “is to connect the two, by building a processing facility in Oregon, by bringing underutilized or brand spanking new aroma hops to craft brewers, and by sticking to a pricing model that strives for consistency and transparency.” 

“The craft beer train has left the station”, continues Worthington. “We don’t want to simply hitch a ride, we want to make the ride smoother, tastier and more mesmerizing. We want to help fill each rider’s pint with the best aroma hops from the best terroir, and in so doing entice new passengers in search of quality and good times to hop aboard and enjoy the ride.”

HopDataMiners
Jim Solberg, Hop Captain (L), Dr. Al Haunold, Venerable Hopmeister (C ), Roger Worthington, Eager Hop Pilgrim (R).

 

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