If you ever get a chance to talk to Meghann Quinn, one of the owners of Bale Breaker Brewing, about her great-grandmother, Leota Mae, you’ll notice that she speaks with unmistakable pride. Along with Meghann’s great-grandfather, Leota Mae started Loftus Ranches, a hop farm in the Yakima Valley that remains family-operated to this day. It’s the hop farm on which Meghann grew up.
According to Meghann, her great-grandmother ran the show, working tirelessly to keep the farm functioning, managing just about every aspect of the operation while her great-grandfather worked a regular job in town to help provide the family with a more stable, reliable income. Farming hops used to be one helluva financial roller coaster. To some degree, it still is today.
In late September, Bale Breaker Brewing introduces Leota May IPA to its full-time, year-round lineup.
“Bale Breaker may only be four years old, but our story really began in 1932 when our great-grandparents first planted hops in the Yakima Valley,” said Meghann Quinn, business manager and one of three sibling-owners at Bale Breaker. “My great-grandmother and the matriarch of our family, Leota Mae, worked sunrise to sunset cultivating the land we still farm today. As our family starts our 86th consecutive hop harvest, this new IPA pays tribute to our family’s legacy and the woman who started it all.”
Leota Mae IPA (6.2% ABV 50 IBU) will be Bale Breaker Brewing Company’s fourth year-round beer, available in six-packs and on draft. The Yakima brewery’s new beer is expected to be available in most national, regional, gourmet, and independent grocers throughout Washington and northern Idaho by the end of October.
Meghann, along with her brothers Kevin Smith, and Patrick Smith and her husband, Kevin Quinn, started Bale Breaker in 2013. It is now among the largest independent breweries in Washington State. Their beers, including three other flagship year-round beers, Field 41 Pale Ale, Topcutter IPA and Bottomcutter Imperial IPA, showcase the world-class hops grown in the heart the Yakima Valley.
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