Broulotte Farms Wins the 2013 Cascade Cup for Hop Excellence

When I started this blog back in October of 2008, I never thought we’d get to this point, but here we are. As our collective beer palate has grown to adore all things hoppy, hop farmers have become something akin to the rock stars of the beer world. Now that I think about it, they aren’t really the rock stars, it’s more like they are the producers behind the music. Every music lover knows how much Sir George Martin contributed to the Beatles’ music, and every beer lover knows how much hop farmers contribute to the beers we love.

And so, with that, I’d like to announce that Brulotte Farms won the 2013 Cascade Cup. The Hop Quality Group presents this award each year, following the annual harvest, to honor the farm whose Cascade hops demonstrated excellence in quality. Below is a press release from Hop Union with more information. (Pictured above: Reggie Brulotte hoists the trophy. Photo courtesy Hop Union.)

I should point out that Oliver Brulotte, the owner of Icicle Brewing (blog sponsor) in Leavenworth is part of the family. If you visit the brewery, take a look at the historic photos that adorn the walls. They are vintage photos of his family’s hop farm.

For Immediate Release

(Yakima, WA) – The Hop Quality Group, a non-profit organization dedicated to research and development of best practices for hop cultivation and processing, has announced Brulotte Farms, Inc. of Toppenish, WA as the 2013 harvest, Cascade Cup winner. The Cascade Cup is an annual award honoring hop growers whose Cascade hops demonstrate excellence in quality.

The Cascade Cup was conducted during the Hop Growers of America Convention in Portland, Oregon by judges representing craft breweries and the Hop Quality Group. Out of a field of 21 cuts of dried, whole flower Cascade samples from the 2013 harvest, the Hop Quality Group named Brulotte Farms, Inc. the overall winner, complimenting their sample for its aroma characteristics and being the most “true to variety.” 1st honorable mention was awarded to Rich Van Horn of Van Horn Farms, 2nd honorable mention to Bruce, Bill and Charlie Davidson of 3D Hop Farm, Ltd., and 3rd honorable mention to Kevin Riel of Double R Ranch.

The winning lot represented a three year old planting. When asked about the award, Reggie responded “Our Cascades this year had an amazing aroma, with that great citrus characteristic that is so typical of the variety. Our family has been growing hops since 1885 and we take pride in our crop. It means a lot that other people think we are doing a superior job as well.”

Brulotte Farms in located in Toppenish, WA and run by fifth and sixth generation hop farmers, Ron and Reggie Brulotte. Over the years, Brulotte Farms has grown several different varieties and is constantly varying their crop to meet the unique needs of the brewing industries. Currently over 65 varieties are being grown on the farm including Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, Glacier and several retro varieties including Comet, Eroica and Olympics.

The Cascade hop variety was made commercially available in 1971 as the first US-bred hop to be released by the United States Department of Agriculture’s hop breeding program. Almost immediately, it found favor within the craft industry, growing to become the most popular variety during the 1990s. Today, the Cascade hop remains one of the most popular varieties in the industry. It is characterized by floral, citrus and grapefruit aromas and well balanced bittering potential