Fall Means Fresh Hop Season in Hop Country

Fall Means Fresh Hop Season in Hop Country

August 25, 2023

It’s Time for Fresh Hop Ales to Flow

Fresh hop season is here! Hop Harvest us underway and we all know what that means – It’s finally time for fresh hop ales! As harvest begins, the air in the Yakima Valley is filled with the aromas of hops and newly crafted fresh hop ales flow with abundance at local breweries along the Hop Country Craft Beer Trail. You can feel the excitement as brewers from around the world descend on the valley for hop selection to craft the very best beers.

So, what to do during fresh hop season? Take a trip to Hop Country in the Yakima Valley, in the largest hop producing region in the world. This is the time of year to immerse yourself in everything hop country. First, if you haven’t taken a drive through the lush hop fields, do it soon because harvest is a quick, crazy process to get the hops out of the fields at the perfect time. But, there are still plenty of hop country views to be had. Be sure to mark your calendar for all the hop country fall festivities.

Fresh Hop Ales - Yakima Valley Hop Country

Fresh Hop Ales at the Source

You don’t have to wait for Fresh Hop Ale Festival for fresh hop experiences! Local taprooms at nearly 20 stops on the Hop Country Craft Beer Trail will be eagerly tapping kegs of their many fresh hop ales crafted from hops harvested just minutes away. In fact, the first fresh hop ales are already being brewed around the Yakima Valley – many of which you can only taste at the tap! Breweries will be announcing celebratory fresh hop release parties throughout harvest season, complete with live music, great food and other special activities. Watch our Fresh Hop Season events page and our craft beer and hops event calendar throughout the season for all the Hop Country happenings while you wait for the main event, the Fresh Hop Ale Festival!

Hop Country Music Festival - Yakima, Washington

Hop Country Music Festival featuring Chris Janson and Neil McCoy

Back for a second year, the much-anticipated, two-day Hop Country Music Festival, September 15 and 16, is a must-see.. Powerhouse performers lead the lineup for a fantastic celebration in the heart of hop country. Multi-platinum, award-winning artist, Chris Janson takes the stage as Saturday’s headliner. Friday evening features icon of country music, Neil McCoy. A standout lineup fills the rest of the weekend in Hop Country style.

Fresh Hop Ale Festival - Yakima Valley, Washington State

Fresh Hop Ale Festival

Here in the heart of hop country, every single hop cone gets harvested and processed over the span of 30 crazy days in September. It all culminates with the Yakima Valley’s signature Fresh Hop Ale Festival, one of the “Top 10 Beer Festivals in The Nation!” On Saturday, October 7, more than 65 brewers from around the west and beyond descend upon downtown Yakima to compete for top honors with fresh hop ales crafted specifically for the festival using only freshly harvested hops. More than 7,000 beer lovers come for a one-of-a kind craft beer festival just made for them! Also enjoy wine, ciders, local flavors from food trucks and vendors, live music and fun activities. Best of all, this is a vehicle for community enrichment and positive social change, with proceeds donated to Yakima Country arts and sciences organizations.

Fresh Hop Festivities All Week Long!

You don’t have to wait for the festival to enjoy fresh hop experiences! In the week leading up to the festival, enjoy all sorts of hop country experiences. In addition to release parties, watch our calendar for other special, behind-the-scenes experiences. Take a trip for hop harvest celebrations and the9th annual Fresh Hop Party the night before Fresh Hop Ale Festival. Make time to visit the American Hop Museumto learn about the history of the American hop industry, from its early days in the colonies to the Pacific Northwest and, especially, the Yakima Valley where we now grow more than 70 percent of U.S. hops.

Harvest 100 Bike Ride - Sunnyside, WA - Yakima Valley

Take a Ride Through Hop Country

On Sunday, September 30, join Varietal Beer Co. for the Harvest 100 Century Ride, a fully supported, 100-mile ride through hop yards, vineyards, and more – all as the valley works hard to harvest the season’s best. The ride begins and ends at Varietal Beer Co. in Sunnyside for celebratory brews and bites. Profits are dedicated to Single Track Alliance of Yakima and their work to make a meaningful impact in the cycling community around the Yakima Valley.

Yakima Valley Brewery and Winery Tours - Little Hopper

Reserve your spot on The Little Hopper – Yakima’s craft beer bus! Sign up for their hop-on-hop-off tours. Each tour travels a variety of loops from brewery to brewery. You choose your starting point and hop on and off to spend about an hour at each stop. You can also schedule custom group tours, as well as winery tours.

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