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.
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 the Indie Hops Flavor Project, to ensure that an Oregon-based breeding and sensory effort was focused on the craft marketplace. 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!