2020 Crop Production Complete

by | Mar 1, 2021

We are pleased to announce that we officially wrapped up pellet production of 2020 crop on February 4th, setting a new production record for YCH!

Yakima Chief Hops receives roughly one third of the hops grown in the United States from its network of growers located in the Pacific Northwest. The receiving crew works tirelessly bringing in nearly 200,000 bales from Washington, Oregon and Idaho into our cold storage facilities. Before harvest is even complete, our operations crew gets to work, working 24 hours a day and seven days a week to process the hops. YCH uses its Liquid Nitrogen technology in its four pellet plants, and Cryo Hops® plant, to achieve optimal quality by pelleting at the coldest temperatures in the industry. Furthermore, reducing production time to less than 6 months means the hops spend less time in bale form, resulting in reduced oxidation.

“In addition to being trained and validated to detect positive aromas such as citrus, floral, and tropical fruit, the YCH Sensory Panel can also detect common off aromas found in hops, including oxidation related aromas like cheesy,” said Tiffany Pitra, Sensory Manager at YCH. As a result of good storage and processing conditions combined with a rapid production schedule, we are able to deliver quality hops to brewers.”

This is also an especially incredible accomplishment made by our operations crew, considering that they were able to achieve this despite the many challenges that our employees have faced this year.

“With all of the distractions, restrictions, and unforeseen shutdowns caused from COVID-19, the crew did an outstanding job,” said Delmar Rowden, YCH Operations Director in the Pellet Plant. “I was very impressed with the hard work and dedication from our team to accomplish finishing earlier than ever before. It shows the commitment we all have in making Yakima Chief Hops the leader in hops worldwide. I am grateful to have such a terrific team around me along with the leadership to help us with continuous improvement and moving to the top with state-of-the-art processing facilities. Only better things on the horizon! I also want to give a great big THANK YOU to the Operations Admin, Planning, and Warehouse teams for their help this year. None of this would be possible without the teamwork from each department.”

“The Operations team works hard in the off-season to bring processing and product enhancements to the production facilities. We are very pleased to see that the efforts we put into capital investments and continuous improvement are resulting in earlier completion dates for the processing season,” said Karl Vanevenhoven, Chief Operation Officer for YCH.  “Not only does this have a positive impact on the quality of the pellets, but it provides earlier access to the new crop for brewers worldwide. It is a company-wide effort to make these kinds of goals a reality, so cheers to everyone involved for all their hard work, dedication to excellence, and focus on safety and quality.”

We hope you will take this time with us to recognize and raise a glass to the women and men of our production facilities putting in the work to ensure quality hops for your next beers. Because of them, the 2020 crop is already on its way to breweries across the globe. Cheers!