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    We’re declaring October Salmon-Safe month! Let’s spread the word about this vital cause that your brewery helps support!

    Posted by Indie HopsAug 08, 2021


    “Salmon is the canary in the coal mine. It’s the indicator of how healthy a watershed is,” states David Burger, Salmon-Safe Partner.

    Salmon Safe was founded in 1996 with the mission to transform management practices so Pacific salmon can thrive in West Coast watersheds. This effort is vital, when you consider the fact that wild salmon are in decline globally with just 10% of fish returning to West Coat watersheds compared to their historic abundance.

    The Pacific Northwest is home to most of the last wild salmon in the continental US. It’s also where 99% of US hops are grown along the Yakima and Willamette River watersheds.

    According to Salmon Safe Co-Founder, Dan Kent, 80% of the pollution in the Willamette River comes from non-point source runoff—which means it comes from agricultural fields or city streets. To date, Kent says there isn’t data to show what percentage to attribute to each source, “but we know the agricultural impacts can be profound.”


    This reality resonated with Gayle Goschie, third generation hop grower and one of our original farm partners. Goschie Farms was the first hop farm to achieve Salmon-Safe certification. This inspired us to encourage other growers to do the same. Many other hop farms have followed suit including our largest grower and long-time partner Coleman Agriculture, and one of our newest growers Sodbuster Farms. Roy Farms and Crosby Hop Farms—both certified growers and resellers of Indie Hop varieties Strata and Meridian—are also Salmon-Safe certified.

    Salmon-Safe certification requires rigorous third party assessment based on peer-reviewed standards, and key elements include:
    phasing out pesticides that are harmful to fish and wildlife
    restoring stream buffers
    reducing irrigation water use
    enhancing biodiversity through ecological set asides or native pollinator-friendly plantings
    ensuring that there is no runoff or erosion from farms

    Salmon-Safe is “whole farm” certification so large farms must transition an entire operation to Salmon-Safe practices in order to certify a crop like hops. This magnifies Salmon-Safe’s impact across the landscape.

    “For Salmon-Safe, this October campaign led by Indie Hops has the potential to help accelerate a shift by craft brewers towards certified hops and malts grown by farmers working to protect Pacific Northwest rivers and wildlife.”

    - Dan Kent, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Salmon-Safe

    Salmon-Safe:Save wild salmon

    Watch the Video

    Learn more about why Salmon Safe is important through this impactful video that features our long-time farm partner, Gayle Goschie.


    By sourcing certified Salmon Safe hops from us, your brewery is helping conserve local farm streams and wildlife in the Willamette Valley. Help us spread the word! Please consider adding the Salmon-Safe logo and/or QR code to an October beer release that uses Salmon-Safe hops and have fun coming up with beer names (great Salmon-related example: Chinooked on a Feeling by Alvarado Street).

    Please reach out for vector files of the Salmon Safe logo or Salmon Safe QR code.