Here’s a compilation of fun, silly and interesting facts around beer, one of our favorite subjects along the Spirits and Hops Trail. Amaze your friends the next time you hoist a glass or two!
- It was an accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride’s father would supply his son-in law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer, and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the “honey month”, or what we know today as the “honeymoon”. Cheers to that!
- Along that line, the word “bridal” comes from 19th century Englishmen, who took out their mates for a final “Bride Ale” the day before their wedding.
- According to a diary entry from a passenger on the Mayflower, the pilgrims made their landing at Plymouth Rock, rather than continue to their destination in Virginia. Why? Lack of beer.
- In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts. When patrons got unruly, the bartender would yell at them to mind their pints and quarts and settle down. It’s where we get the phrase “mind your P’s and Q’s”.
- In 1963, Jim Whitaker became the first American to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. A can of Seattle’s own Rainier Beer made the ascent with him. And guess where the hops came from in that beer? Yep, Yakima Valley!
- For some reason Bourbon is the official alcohol of the United States, by an act of Congress. Probably some zealous Senator from Kentucky made that happen! Wise folks have attempted to have that overturned in favor of beer instead over the years. With the exploding popularity of craft beers maybe it’s time to try again!
- President Theodore Roosevelt took more than 500 gallons of beer with him on an African safari. Must have been thirsty work. Bully!
- A beer barrel contains 31 gallons of beer. What we Americans refer to as a keg is actually 15.5 gallons, or a half-barrel. Either way, we sing “Roll out the barrels!”
- Hops were used as early as 400 BC in Babylon. Historians think that the reason it was used as additive was for its antiseptic properties. You see, by adding hops brewers didn’t have to have high alcohol content to prevent spoilage. This meant less grains and therefore more profit.
- Beer is the second most popular beverage in the world, coming in behind tea. We know which beverage is more fun to drink!
- In Japan, beer is sold in vending machines, by street vendors and in the train stations. Time to book a trip I say!
- If you collect beer bottles you’re a labeorphilist.
- A beer lover or enthusiast is called a cerevisaphile. I wonder where they come up with these names?
Now don’t you feel a bit more educated?
(Source: BeerFestBoots. Check them out. They make cool custom beer boot glasses )
Hope all of you are having a great summer and finding ways to beat the heat. Of course a nice brew or from the Yakima Valley may be a good idea!
It’s been a busy month or two on the local craft beverage scene. Here’s the latest:
- Tieton Cider Works keeps improving their new facility. They have bocce’ ball along with a great outdoor area perfect for summer outings. In addition, they’ve released new ciders including a smoked pumpkin cider.
- The craft beverage makers in greater Yakima have banded together to develop a new marketing entity called Craft Beverage Yakima. Thirteen craft beverage makers from ‘gap to gap’ are part of the organization. Check them out!
- If you have not been to the new Hop Nation Brewing Company in downtown Yakima do stop by and hoist a pint by Master Brewer Ben Grossman. What separates this brewery from others is their focus on Washington agricultural products, specifically Yakima Valley Hops and Columbia Valley grain, and their relationship to award winning beer. It offers a tasting room to share with you its tasty, fresh, and uniquely hand-crafted brews. The brewery and pub is located off of North First Street in a one hundred year old fruit packing warehouse that was last used to house hops. The décor is an homage to the hop industry and features quarter rounds, kilns, hop poles, and hop twine integrated in everything from the lighting to the bar. The first four beers on tap included a German style Hefeweizen, an Oat Pale Ale, an ESB, and an IPA. With clever names like ESBeotch and EGO IPA (which stands for Everybody’s Got One) & great taste, you’ll have to try one.
- A partner with Hop Nation Brewing is HopTown Pizza, which cooks up mighty fine provides wood fired pizzas Wednesday through Saturday at Hop Nation. They’re a mobile wood fired pizza truck that also caters events and at other locations. They’re getting so popular that they’ve added a second truck to keep up with demand. They use all local ingredients in their food and of course, flavor the pies with a sprinkle of hops as an ode to their family history. (Porky Pine and Hop DaddyDo are my favs).
As always, we’ll keep you posted of news and updates along the Spirits and Hops Trail. Enjoy!
We’re at the Sunriver Resort near Bend at the Travel and Words Northwest Travel Writers Conference, sharing stories of the Yakima Valley and the Spirits and Hops Trail. We’re sharing how the Yakima Valley is ‘hop heaven’ since we supply 78% of the hops used by the breweries across the U.S. The LolliHop candies we gave out were a big hit. Likewise we shared tales of our agricultural heritage, wine country and the many festivals that celebrate our cultures. This morning we sponsored the breakfast and had the resort include locally grown food products donated by Chukar Cherries, Tree Top and fresh apples from the Valley.
With 70 writers and bloggers in attendance it’s an important event for us to share the stories of the Yakima Valley and to be a resource for the writers. Definitely our craft beverages are forefront in our message this year. Cheers to all the attendees!
Had a chance to swing by Hop Nation Brewing Company’s soft opening last week during the First Friday event in downtown Yakima. Pardon the pun, but things were hopping! Owner Ben and crew were serving a nice crowd with the brews while HopTown Wood Fire Pizza was there baking up their 9″ pies of delight.
On tap was ESBeotch, EGO ipa, Cream On-oat pale ale and Weiss, a German Hefeweizen. Had a chance to try the Weiss and it delivered a smooth, mild wheat flavor you’d expect. Pints are $4.00 but when a train rumbles buy you get 50 cents off.
Also tried a slice of the HoppDaddyDo from HopTown pizza. With Italian sausage crumbles, pepperoni, Roma tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil and their signature pinch of hops it delivered a spicy and tasty complement to the beer. Hop Town Pizza is serving their wood fired pizzas Wednesday-Saturday 4 p.m.- 8 p.m. in the old Track 29 parking lot for Hop Nation guests and walk ups (31 N. 1st Avenue. Look for the big wood fire oven and friendly staff).
Hop Nation Brewing Company hours: According to their Facebook page, hours are 3:30 to close Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 12-close Saturday and Sundays. Location: 31 N. 1st Avenue
Another gem in the downtown craft beverages along the Spirits and Hops Trail! See you there.
Hoppy days are here again!
According to an article in Saturday’s Yakima Herald, in 2014 U.S. hop growers produced their largest crop in five years. Even so, they could not keep up with the international demand for craft beer.
Last year featured a 10% increase in acreage but low yields and high prices, according to statistics released last week by the Hop Growers of America.
Rising prices and crop size have been driven by the growth in craft beers, which need more hops and a range of flavors. Washington state’s Yakima Valley produces about 77 percent of the nation’s hops.
Check out the full article here. Here’s to another banner year!
Hey all you fresh brewed hop heads! The Fresh Hop Ale Festival returns next week so get your tickets.
Billed as one of the 10 Best Brew Festivals in the nation by various online magazines such as Americas Best Online, Suds Magazine and Seattle Beer news, the 12 annual Fresh Hop Ale Festival gets underway Saturday, October 4th from 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. in in downtown Yakima. Attendees can sample a selection of 36 different craft beers and fresh hop brewed beers, local wines and ciders. Various local restaurants will also be on hand to serve. Live music includes Seattle bands Cumulus and Smokey Brights.
This event is big! More than over 5,000 people are expected. General admission is $30.00 online and $35.00 day of event at the gate. Proceeds from the event support two local art institutions the Yakima Valley Museum and the Seasons Performance Hall.
Other festivities prior to this event include the 2014 Brewers Dinners, Oct. 1st – Oct. 3rd where brewers and chefs pair their talents and products to create memorable dining experiences. Participating restaurants & breweries are Bert’s Pub with Bale Breaker Brewing Company, Second Street Grill will host Fremont Brewing Company, and the Yakima Valley Hops Brew Bash, hosted by Fresh Hop with Sierra Nevada beer served, along with a few other drink choices.
For more information on the 2014 Fresh Hop Ale Festival visit http://freshhopalefestival.com/index.html
(Photo by Sara Lasha)
It’s a busy season here in ‘hop central’, also known as the Yakima Valley. Harvest is coming and the bines are full of fragrant hops ready for cutting.
The word at the brew pubs in the Valley is that it’s been a great summer with visitors coming from near and far. I was in Yakima Craft’s new tasting room downtown Saturday and the place was packed! Our local paper did a nice write up about their opening and our efforts to build beer tourism with the Spirits and Hops Trail.
And SmarterTravel.com did a shout out to the trail in a piece they wrote last month titled America’s Best Small Cities on the Rise. Pretty cool huh?
People on the west side of the state will soon get a taste of a Yakima Valley brewery. Bale Breaker beer will be sold in King and Snohomish Counties.
The company sent its first shipment to distributors this week. That’s 90 kegs and 1,000 cases of beer. It’ll be sold at Trader Joe’s, select QFCs, and Total Wine and More.
Bale Breaker’s owners said they’re happy to expand.
“We do have a lot of pent-up demand, and it’s good to hear people asking for our beer over there, so we’re glad we’ll finally be able to start sending some beer over there,” said co-owner Kevin Quinn.
Taps will also be available at Seattle Mariners home games. Bale Breaker said it’s looking to distribute elsewhere depending on sales in King and Snohomish Counties.
Click here for the video story from KIMA news
With the longer days and warmer weather it feels like spring. And in March that means that the shamrocks will be blooming and the leprechauns we be out and about!
In Honor of St. Patricks Day, Wineries Express of Yakima will tour several Yakima Valley craft breweries. On the docket are stops at Yakima Craft Brewing, Bale Breaker in Moxee, Snipes Mountain in Sunnyside and Whitstran Brewing in Prosser.
Date: March 15th. The tours start at 1:30 PM from the Yakima Visitors Center and returns by 8:30 PM.
Cost is $60 a person, limited to 11 people .
For details and to reserve your spot head over to Wineries Express.
In Honor of St. Patricks ‘weekend’ we will tour some Yakima and Valley micro-breweries! We will visit Yakima Craft Brewing, Bale Breaker in Moxee, Snipes Mountain in Sunnyside, and Whitstran Brewing in Prosser. Start time at 1:30 PM from the Yakima Visitors Center. Returning at ~8:30 PM. NOTE: Assuming this goes well, we will do another series over summer to include Ellensburg’s Ironhorse, hard cider producers, and new breweries coming to Yakima!
As the Super Bowl approaches and millions of fans cheer with a cold beer in hand, we thought we’d share some beer facts.
GAME RELATED FOOD AND BEER FACTS:
- Super Bowl Sunday is the second-largest day for consumption of food and drink for Americans, behind Thanksgiving Day.
- According to the Nielsen Company research, 51 million cases of beer will be sold to quench Super Bowl fans. We have no data on how many of them will call in sick Monday morning.
- Not surprisingly, antacid purchases are estimated to increase by 20% the day after the big game!
BEER FACTS OVERALL:
Beer is big business in the U.S.A.- It’s a $246 billion industry, includes more than 2,800 breweries and 2 million jobs (Beer Institute
- There are more breweries in the U.S. than any other country in the world.
- Which state consumes the most beer? According to the Beer Institute North Dakota at nearly 46 gallons of beer per capita per year. The least? Utah at just over 20 gallons per capita per year. Washington state is near the bottom of the barrel (bad pun) at 24.8 gallons.
- Beer consumption has changed in recent years, with craft beers growing in popularity while mass produced beverages are declining. Check this article from Yahoo Finance online.
CRAFT BEER FACTS (from the Brewers Association):
- Craft brewers currently provide an estimated 108,440 jobs in the U.S., including serving staff in brewpubs.
- Growth of the craft brewing industry in 2012 was 15% by volume and 17% by dollars compared to growth in 2011 of 13% by volume and 15% by dollars.
- Craft brewers sold an estimated 13,235,917 barrels* of beer in 2012, up from 11,467,337 in 2011.
- The craft brewing sales share in 2012 was 6.5% by volume and 10.2% by dollars.
- Craft brewer retail dollar value in 2012 was an estimated $11.9 billion.
- As of March 18, 2013, the Brewers Association is aware of 409 brewery openings in 2012 (310 microbreweries and 99 brewpubs) and 43 brewery closings (18 microbreweries and 25 brewpubs).
- 2,347 craft breweries operated for some or all of 2012, comprised of 1,132 brewpubs, 1,118 microbreweries and 97 regional craft breweries.
So enjoy the big game (GO SEAHAWKS) with your favorite beer. And while you’re at it, give a nod to the Yakima Valley in Washington, because no matter what beer you drink, there’s a 78% chance that the hops in your brew came from here. Cheers!