For part of August, all of September, and into the first few days of October, hop machines fill the Yakima Valley with their roars. Hooks clink together and burners rumble as the crews work 24/7 to pick the hops just as they reach peak maturity. As we switch between varieties, aromas of coconut, citrus, pine, and more fill the air along with the subtle scent of hop trash.
Brewers have been absent from the Valley for almost two years due to the pandemic. In 2020, there were no late nights in the CLS Farms basement or drinking Chuckanut pilsners at Sports Center. But this year, brewers descended upon the Valley giddy like children going to Disneyland.
We had our friend Miguel Rivas "The Beer Trekker" come spend a week on the farm to capture the moments of harvest not always seen. A look into the brewers dropping by the beer garden for a drink, brewers selecting the hops that go into some of the largest beer brands in the country, and our crew, who is the backbone of this farm working, day-in-and-day-out to hook each vine and dry every cone.
See for yourself an inside look into CLS Farms harvest 2021.
Some photos taken by Claire Desmarais.
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