That's how it started. Roger was drinking barley wine that night, which showcased a lot more than hops, but he had been calculating this dream for some time. Jim got on point, and they both dove in to research the hops markets.
Three things stood out to Jim and Roger throughout their research:
- Not a single hop merchant existed whose business was 100% dedicated to the craft beer segment. Even those marketing themselves as microbrewery specialists were primarily selling excess hops from industrial brewery contracts.
- Nearly everybody -- hop geneticists, brewers, and even farmers in the Yakima Valley - confirmed for us that Oregon's Willamette Valley was the best terroir for aroma hops in America.
- Despite its rich soil, clean water, ideal climate and illustrious history of premium aroma hops production, Oregon did not have the infrastructure for processing, storing and distributing hops.
So "The Idea" is to build the necessary infrastructure in the Willamette Valley, partner with leading farmers in the valley, invest in hops research and breeding in the valley, and gear all of this toward servicing the craft beer market from America's premium aroma hops terroir- Oregon's Willamette Valley.
We look forward to the day when craft beer consumers covet 100% pure Oregon-grown aroma hops even more than wine enthusiasts desire Oregon pinot noir grapes.
Translating The Idea - 2011 Udpate