Yakima Valley Tourism

Balancing the sweetness of malt with bitterness and a range of fruity, floral, resinous, or spicy aromas, hops are one of the four core ingredients in beer. Depending on the varieties used, the timing of their addition, and how they are processed, hops allow brewers to creatively express themselves and show off plenty of skill.

But how much do you know about hop farming? Would you be able to explain how, exactly, hops are grown and harvested? How they’re preserved? How brewers choose to use them in beer? Unless you’re a hop farmer or an extreme beer geek, we’d bet you’d have difficulty answering one or more of these questions.

So we decided to visit a hop farm to learn all about how hop farming works. Since 2012, Top Hops Farm has cultivated six varieties on 16 ½ acres in Goodrich, Michigan -- the fourth largest state producer of hops in the United States behind Washington, Oregon and Idaho. (As of 2017, the U.S. surpassed Germany as the number one hop producing country in the world!)

Check out the video below, in which we get a tour from Top Hops co-owner Sean Trowbridge, and let us know what you think in the comments!

For more information about Top Hops Farms, visit Top-Hops.com or check them out on Facebook!