OUR STORY

In The Beginning...

We’ll spare you another “two friends get together over beers and have this brilliant idea” story. Most of it anyway. The fact is, co-founders Roger Worthington and Jim Solberg got together over beers in October 2008 and decided to explore opportunities for Oregon-grown hops in the craft beer market. Times were changing: Anheuser-Busch was being taken over by Inbev, meaning 75% of Oregon’s hop crop (Willamette variety grown for A-B) was at risk. And we were believers in the future of craft beer.

Jim, Eric, & Matt of Indie Hops

So we built Oregon’s first post-farm hop processing facility (pellet milling/packaging/cold storage) and talked some excellent hop growers into growing a range of hops for us to process and evangelize. Game on!

We intentionally had our mill designed for smaller batch processing than the industry norm to avoid excessive heating of the hops in order to maintain “farm fresh” quality in our pellets. It works and we’re thrilled to have the support of many quality conscious (and customer service conscious) brewers…large and small.

To round out our strategy we started a hop breeding program to ensure that an Oregon-based breeding program was focused on hop aroma and flavor development for use by craft brewers. We did this in 2009 because, as mentioned, we’re believers in craft beer! This is a long-term endeavor and we want to do our part to arm brewers with hops that hook consumers!

 

 

THE TEAM

We're fortunate to have a solid group of people who have been with us since the beginning:

OSWALDO LOPEZ
“Leave it in my hands!” is something of a catch-phrase for Waldo. We’re more than happy to have our on-site inventories, shipping and receiving in his capable hands. Plus he’s always keeping us laughing...
SHAUN TOWNSEND
Shaun is the plant breeding & genetics scientist on point for the Indie Hops Research & Breeding Program. Although he’s technically an employee of OSU, we consider him part of the Indie Hops team. Even as he sleeps, Shaun is dreaming up new approaches to hop breeding that might lead to a future cultivar that will be in your favorite beer.
SERGIO PALAFOX
Sergio is the lead operator of the pellet milling facility (that’s a lot of machines!). He makes it all look easy - a sure sign of someone who is outstanding at what they do.
ERIC PETERSON
We still include Eric even though he left in 2017 to take over the family business. He was part of the construction crew that built our mill and then convinced us to hire him to run it. Before he left, he did a great job of training Sergio to take over. So, in a sense, we still have Eric at the mill.
FILEMON PALAFOX
Filemon’s attention to detail and orderly nature are a big part of the strong packaging results we achieve (super low residual O2, and great seal integrity). You won’t receive any “pellet bricks” from IH while “Filet Mignon” is leading packaging!
JORGE RAMOS
Anybody can operate a fork truck (sort of) but there are only a few “fork whisperers” out there. We move a lot of hop bales and pallets, so it’s great to have Jorge’s skills on our team. He backs up Waldo in shipping/receiving and fills in as needed on pelleting/packaging.
HELEN COSKEY
Our first hire out of Oregon State University’s Horticulture and Plant Breeding Program! We’re stoked Helen joined IH to help corral the data from the expanding breeding program and be in the fields as we branch out with more hop growers. As a craft beer fan, she is also connecting with customers - especially when the rhizomes are sleeping!
MATT SAGE
“Brewery Ambassador,” first employee, and resident historian, Matt has a rich brewing background that started during the first wave of craft beer growth in the mid-1980’s. He provides the insight into brewery operations that helps us stay focused on customer needs and has an uncanny palate that helps us sniff out amazing new hops!
ROGER WORTHINGTON
Co-founder, “Bull Goose Looney,” is largely responsible for IH’s existence by his willingness to take the risk of launching a new hop company during the dark times of 2008. Roger is always channeling energy into something to prevent exploding, still moonlights for his law office, AND built a brewery in Bend, OR, complete with hop/herb gardens in the ground and an observatory (Hopservatory) gazing skyward, encouraging people to pontificate the heavens and cherish/care for our precious Earth... while drinking a beer of course.
JIM SOLBERG
Charting a course and grabbing the helm of a new hop effort was a no-brainer when Roger first whispered the idea. Jim is an IH co-founder, avid home-brewer, believer in craft beer, and grower of hops at home, applying previous business development experience to this captivating and irresistible industry. And still loving it!

Indie Hops - Oregon Bred