Travis was out in Oregon a few weeks ago for a little brewery research and to attend the 28th Annual Oregon Brewer’s Festival. In his travels he visited with many breweries and tasted more beers than he could keep track of! Oregon has been on the cutting edge of the craft beer movement in the United States for over 30 years. Breweries like Widmer and Bridgeport are considered pioneers in the “first wave.” Add in newcomers like The Commons (a favorite), DeGarde (a close second), and Pfriem Family (yep, that rounds out the top 3) and you see where the innovation has taken the beer scene in the state. With over 60 breweries in the Portland area and a total of 216 in the state, there is no reason to go thirsty. This is certainly a great place to do a little investigation.
One of the the visits Travis made during his travels around Oregon was Crosby Hop Farms. On this family owned hop farm, 4th and 5th generation Crosby’s grow a half dozen different varietals including some organics and broker many other varieties. As the harvest arrives in late August/September, things were in full bloom with the bines reaching the tops of the trellises and cones growing plump and beginning to gain their resinous oils and lupulin.
Based in Florida we are unfortunately far away from a majority of our raw materials and their providers. Even with this hurdle, it is important for us at Crooked Thumb to be close to our sources of raw materials to ensure only the best ingredients go into our brews. Being able to get out and walk the hop fields was part of this commitment and we hope to do it often. We are in the process of setting up hop contracts for years to come with Crosby and a couple other hop purveyors to insure we have all the hops needed to make everything from our house IPA to the unique seasonal brews we have been dreaming of.