The Ag Desk

From the Agriculture Desk comes a couple pieces of news. We start in the Hill Country of Texas where Jester King has bought up land around their brewery (58 acres to be exact) to supply them with fruits, grains and generally make their farmhouse beers even more authentic by adding a farm.

Peaches, blackberries and melons along with a test plot of wheat have been started and will eventuallygrow to be larger parts of the beers they make. It also fits with their eco-ethos tha values the terroir over uniformity and very local over long distance shipping. What caught my eye more is that it puts the control of a percentage of their ingredients in their hands. They won’t have to vet each piece of fruit. They know the chain of travel that it took.

Stone tried and stepped away from farming but I hope this works and I hope more take it up or at least create brewery co-ops as it were to supply a portion of the ingredient list.

The 2nd news brief comes from the fine folks at the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Their hop report for Washington, Oregon and Idaho shows acres harvested in 2015 and acres strung for harvest in 2016 and it is a good barometer for what hops are being used and what is coming.

Starting negative, it Columbus/Tomahawk took the biggest dive in acres more than doubling the decreases for Nugget and Super Galena. Predictably Citra surged again, adding over 1,400 acres. Other non-surprises include large growth for Equinox and Simcoe as well as Mosaic. All adding over 900 additional acres.

Overall acreage crowns go to Cascade which is up to 7,371 approximately with Centennial in 2nd place with just over 5K. The numbers that jumped out for me was that Experimental hops had a healthy leap upwards as did Azacca. Plus Cashmere hop is now out of the other/experimental category and on it’s own along with Tahoma and Pekko.