YCH announces Bale Breaker’s newest release, Mango IPA

by | May 6, 2019

Yakima Chief Hops staff member, Victoria Garza, invites you to learn more about the story behind the popular Mango IPA, from conception to collaboration, and what this tasty brew means to the hop community.

The third series of the Mango IPA in Yakima is releasing on May 4, 2019…what an incredible journey it has been since we first released the beer!

The journey of this Mango IPA started in 2016 at a tradeshow in Mexico City called Cerveza Mexico. It was at that event where I had the opportunity to meet Esteban Silva from Cervecería de Colima (Colima, Mexico) and Alejandro “Alejo” Magallanes from Cerveza Loba (Guadalajara, Mexico).

During one of the booth breaks we ended up chatting and touched on a variety of subjects. As our conversation manifested we always came back to the topic of Mexicanos being so prominent in the Yakima Valley and in the beer industry, many of them being from the Colima and Guadalajara regions.

Being part of the hop industry and living in Yakima, I was able to confirm that this indeed was correct, that Mexicanos make up the majority of the farm labor needed to make sure brewers are getting their hops. We were all disappointed that this important part of the industry wasn’t celebrated enough and that brewers and beer drinkers didn’t even know about the impact that Mexicanos have on the hop industry.

It was during that conversation where the idea of making a beer to bring awareness to this important part of the beer industry was born.

From November of 2016 to May of 2017, Cervecería de Colima took the lead in organizing the first release of the of the project that became Sesiones del Migrante in Guadalajara and Colima. During this time, two up-and-coming California breweries– Ronin Fermentation Project (Truckee, CA) & SouthNorte (San Diego, CA) joined the collaboration. As a representative for Yakima Chief Hops, I took the lead in donating the hops grown in the Yakima Valley. However, to emphasize the hop community’s deep roots in Yakima, we asked Bale Breaking Brewing Co. if they would join this collaboration, one of Yakima’s pioneering breweries owned by a multi-generational family farm. Without hesitation, they agreed, and I guess you can say the rest is history.

Looking back now I can’t help but think that I was really at the right place at the right time.

Why is this project so important? Well for starters if we didn’t have the farm labor, hops for your favorite beer would be limited. As with any other agricultural product, growers rely heavily on every day farm labor and field workers. In relation to hops, the majority of the farm labor is coming in from Mexico as part of the H-2A program. The H-2A program allows U.S. employers or U.S. agents who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary agricultural jobs.

With the assistance of the H-2A program, migrant farm workers from Mexico are coming to the Yakima Valley to fill the void in employment in order to operate their family farms. For the majority of the year, these migrant farm workers are leaving behind their families to provide a better life for them and give them opportunities to prosper.

With Sesiones del Migrante, we celebrate their hard work, sacrifice and dedication as they journey from Mexico to the Yakima Valley so that brewers globally will have the hops they need to make the best beer. Not only are we celebrating the migrant farm workers, but a portion of the proceeds also benefits La Casa Hogar, a non-profit that connects and educates Latina families in Yakima.