In 2013, Worthy Brewing planted over 20 varieties of hop plants near its brewery at 495 N.E. Bellevue Dr., in Bend. Among them were experimental varieties suited for the high desert.
The result? You can see for yourself in our cover photo, taken by Dave Zinn in mid- August and featuring Worthy Brewing’s Garden Manager, Lisa Kronwall.
The first to reach the top of the 12-foot trellis wire were Oregon’s regulars: Chinook, Sterling, Santiam and Nugget hops. Others bred by a team from Oregon State University and Indie Hops are also looking strong — Jack-in-the- Beanstalk strong, according to the Worthy blog. The brewery was looking for volunteer pickers, but by the time you read this, that opportunity may have come and gone. Hop harvest was predicted to start in late August and end in early September. Each mound or group of bines from one root is expected to produce 6-7 pounds of fresh hops.
Some of the fresh hop cones will be dried, but most will be used in fresh-hop beer, made on the brewery’s 5-barrel system.
Worthy’s greenhouse and hopyard was dedicated last year to Dr. Alfred Haunold, the Austrian-born hopmeister at the helm of Oregon State University’s hop breeding program from 1965 to 1999. The program released 16 hop cultivars and breeding lines to the public, many of which are the high-aroma varieties found in Oregon’s IPAs.
“Let’s face it,” said Chris Hodge, Worthy’s CEO, at the dedication of the hopyard last year. “The hop is a tough weed, but the gods did not intend for it to sprout up from solid volcanic basalt. We’ve designed and built raised beds to provide a nurturing home base for our noble flowers. We want to thank OSU — Dr. Shaun Townsend, in particular, Goschie Farms, Coleman Farms and Indie Hops for their expertise, without which we couldn’t have pulled this off.”
For more information, visit the brewery or the website, www.worthybrewing.com.
Stories from the print edition of the Oregon Beer Growler.