A few weekends ago, the Crosby Crew headed east to Hood River, OR, to attend the NorthWestern Spring Meeting of the MBAA (Master Brewer's Association of America). This two day meeting covered some very complex and enlightening discussions (and more importantly taste testing!). While the majority of these presentations were way above my head, I'm a firm believer that acquiring as much resourceful knowledge with as many aspects of the craft beer industry as possible is what helps make us a well rounded team. The MBAA meeting had some very comprehensive discussions and presentations concerning the past and present craft beer trends in the UK, sour beers aged with local cherries, differences between wine and beer yeast, and yeast propagation/fermentation management. Breweries like Deschutes and New Belgium allow their sour beers to ferment and age for at least a couple years before anyone can imbibe. While a lot of these biochemistry and microbiology presentations were probably lost in translation even with some of the audience, the MBAA offered informative lectures from well-established masterbrewers, academics, and yeast fermentation specialists.
The hops here on the farm have progressed to the next level of growth with the majority of plants reaching the full 18 feet of trellis wire. Once the hops have gotten to the top of the trellis, then the vines can focus on lateral growth and increased foliage density. This increase in growth can be attributed to our best late spring/early summer weather since 2009. Although it doesn't officially arrive until June 21st, we look forward to a sun-soaked summer with a bit of rain showers thrown in the mix. Right now, we're just completing our last application of nitrogen on all fields. Timely nitrogen applications throughout the growing season is critical for optimal yield of cones. In other news, we just finished planting ~3 more acres of Centennial to connect the new and older plots. We won't have to put up trellises for them until this fall.
Lastly, here's a special thanks to all the homebrewers and hop farmers out there who purchased our hop rhizomes. I hope all your rhizomes are taking off and looking healthy. Cheers!