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Fresh Hop Ales Are Now A Reality Across The World, Thanks To Yakima Chief

Fresh hop ales have long since been one of the most celebratory beers in the craft beer community. Brewed with the whole wet cones straight from the bine and into the kettle within 36 hours of harvest, they represent hops in their most natural form while honoring their rich agricultural roots.

Brewers within reach of farm fresh hops go to great lengths to plan their brewing operations and recipes around these highly anticipated seasonal beers. As a hop ingredient that is dependent upon the unpredictable nature of hop farming, brewers traditionally get one shot each year to clear their kettles and make it happen.

Fresh whole wet cone hops were only accessible to the regions surrounding Pacific Northwest. This is where about 75% of the nation’s hops are grown. This is due to the fact that wet hops/fresh hops are highly perishable and must be delivered from bine to brewer within an extremely short window. Thanks to the YCH’s innovation which led to the creation of a flexible and sustainable fresh hop product.

To come up with this revolutionary product, Yakima Chief Hops has partnered with Wyckoff Farms as they are skilled in the art of producing and preserving quality, frozen agricultural products.

Fresh Hop Ales Are Now A Reality Across The World, Thanks To Yakima Chief
Whole Cone Hops. Picture Source: Yakima Chief

“Bringing Frozen Fresh Hops to the global brewing community speaks directly to our grower-owned mission of connecting family hop farms with the world’s finest brewers. We are excited about the opportunities our Frozen Fresh Hops program offers to our brewery customers to innovate in their local market and, importantly, provide global access to American hopped fresh hop beers to craft beer enthusiasts.” – says Dean Monshing, YCH’s European Vice President of Sales.

Frozen Fresh Hops

YCH’s Frozen Fresh Hops are raw, un-kilned, flash frozen whole cone hops produced in a state-of-the-art BRC-certified food processing facility. The flash freezing process helps retain the delicate nuances of unkilned hops by protecting cell wall and lupulin gland integrity. Unlike traditional freezing, flash freezing maintains the integrity of the hop cone from both a physical and aromatic perspective. The result is a product which preserves the fresh hop season with very low perishability and better ease of transport.

Frozen Fresh Hops
Frozen Fresh Hops. Picture Source: Yakima Chief

Benefits of Frozen Fresh Hops include better storability, higher quality upon arrival and logistical flexibility with shipping and brewhouse operations. If stored at any temperatures between fourteen and thirty-five degrees Fahrenheit, they must be used within 48 hours. Application and usage recommendations are the same as traditional fresh hops. Yakima Chief recommends three to six times by weight versus regular T90 pellets. Ideally, Frozen Fresh Hops should be utilised in the whirlpool or hop-back situations. They are not recommended for dry hopping due to high water content and a tendency to float.

Yakima Chief Hops have finally found a way to supply a more attainable fresh hop product. Cheers to sharing this unique experience with more brewers and beer drinkers everywhere!


2021 Hop Availability. Chart Source: Yakima Chief