A quarter of the world’s hops for beer are grown in Willamette Valley in Oregon, the Yakima Valley in Washington and parts of Idaho. It’s a $40 million dollar per year business — a nice sum for a small and local business.
One Oregon company, Indie Hops, is banking their future and those profits on a hop pelletization process, which will retain more of the hop’s flavor, aroma and aromatics, with an eye toward the bursting-at-the-seams craft brewery market.
“We want to change the form of the hops, not the characteristics,” CEO Jim Solberg told The Oregonian. “We took some pellets down to Stone Brewing recently (the San Diego craft brewer famous for Arrogant Bastard and other hoppy beers) and the brewers were comparing our pellets to a competitor’s … and, without any prompting, they said, ‘These are so much more like whole hops.’ ”
Whole hops are much better and if the pelletization process makes craft brewing more affordable and easier for small breweries then consider me sold on Indie Hop’s efforts.