Cornucopia’s Take: As organic farming grows, many farmers experiment with to soil how they perform in an organic managed environment. Here’s a success story with hops from a Washington state canyon that resulted in a rare fresh hop beer coveted by local Washingtonians.
Fresh Hop Ale springs from organic farming experiment
by Kate Prengaman
A lemon scent wafted through the air as workers harvested hops at a small farm at the mouth of Cowiche Canyon last week. Less than 24 hours later, that same aroma was steeping in a wildly popular seasonal beer bearing the canyon’s name at a Seattle brewery.
Fremont Brewing’s Cowiche Canyon Fresh Hop Ale is the result of the match between the brewery’s sustainability bent and an organic hops experiment launched in the canyon six years ago.
“You can see the beauty here,” said landowner Ron Britt of his 2-acre hop yard nestled up against the 5,000-acre Cowiche Canyon Conservancy, a nonprofit land trust that protects sagebrush covered hills, basalt cliffs, and creek habitat to the west of Yakima. “I felt we had to go organic because of the conservancy.”