Hoppiest Town in Washington

Hops, the main component in flavoring beer, is a sun loving plant. Requiring between six and eight hours of sunlight per day, these vertically growing flower buds are used all over the world. But, did you know that in 2016, Yakima surpassed even Germany in the hop harvesting sector? Thus making it the hop growing capital of the world.

There are two different ways to use hops to add flavor to beer. One way is to soak the flower buds in beer to give the drink a citrus, tropical herbal, earthy taste. Another way is to add them in before the fermentation process to create a more bitter taste.


Why Yakima?

So what is it about Yakima that makes it ideal for growing hops?

As stated above, hops need plenty of sunlight to thrive. This is something that in the Yakima area, with its hot & cool desert climate, provides. Combined with adequate irrigation from the Yakima River, these little green flowers have room to flourish. This is the unique reason why the Yakima Valley has about 75% of the total hop acreage in the states.

While most of us don’t know the difference between alpha and super alpha varieties of hops, these are the two most popular varieties grown here in our green thumb state. If you’re interested in learning more about hops, and how they are utilized in our beer across the state- here are some suggested breweries.

Local Breweries

  • Yakima Craft Brewing is a young brewery that of course, uses local hops. Their Taproom at the Brewery is open 7 days a week with varying times. Inquire when there about doing a tasting flight.
  • Bale Breaker Brewing Company is a family owned brewing company that has been in production since 1932. Here you can enjoy a beer indoors, or outside on their lawn. Every 4th Saturday of the month they also run a brewery tour, that needs to be signed up for online ahead of time. At the moment, they aren’t doing hop farm tours, but the taproom is surrounded by the fields that you can walk through.
Fresh Hop Festival

We don’t like to tell other people what to do, but please remember to drink responsibly.  

MacKenzie Passegger

MacKenzie Passegger is the face behind our various social media accounts, and also routinely writes articles on our blogs (that you’re hopefully enjoying). She's a Washington state native who found herself settling in Austria after bouncing around Europe. When her toddler isn’t keeping her on her toes, she enjoys cooking, craft beer & traveling back home. Being away from Washington allows her to have a different perspective and has deepened her love for the Evergreen State.

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