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Washington state hops in high demand; Cougar Ale on the way

Posted by entomology.office | May 14, 2013
May 14, 2013 | WSU NEWS

WSU researcher Ruth Henderson pours hops into a tank at the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico, Calif., as Abe Kabakoff, Sierra Nevada head pilot brewer, looks on.
WSU researcher Ruth Henderson pours hops into a tank at the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico, Calif., as Abe Kabakoff, Sierra Nevada head pilot brewer, looks on. Photo courtesy: WSU News

PROSSER, Wash. — In 1980, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. founder Ken Grossman effectively put the Cascade hop of Yakima on the map. The hop was central to the pale ale that made Grossman’s company a household name.

More than three decades later, Washington State University researchers studying optimal brewing qualities with that same hop recently interned with Sierra Nevada master brewers to hone their brewing skills and learn advanced brewing methods that are being pioneered by American craft brewers.

Optimal quality, quantity

Scientists at WSU’s Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center (IAREC) in Prosser are investigating the ways agronomic practices, including irrigation, plant nutrition and pest and disease management, affect hop yields and, just as important, the brewing quality of hops, according to Douglas Walsh, professor and integrated pest management coordinator.

see full article in WSU News