For ten years we have been growing our own ingredients at Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon. We believe the best products come from the best ingredients and the best ingredients are the ones that you grow yourself.
WE GROW HOPS
For Rogue, spring begins when the bines of our 10 hop varieties emerge from our 52-acre hopyard. The bines grow from about an inch tall to nearly 20 feet high in a few short months. Once the hops hit their first growth spurt, it’s time for stringing, staking, and training.
We start with stringing. Crews move through the hopyard on cherry pickers, 20 feet in the air, stringing the hops, trying one end of the string to the trellis wires and letting the other end fall to the ground.
After stringing, it’s time for staking. Another crew comes in behind the stringers, pushing the string into the hop mounds and staking them taut. This keeps the strings in place during rain and strong winds, all while supporting two to four hop bines, which can weigh up to 100 pounds.
Before the bines get too big, we train them to climb by wrapping them clockwise around the strings. After training, the bines’ natural ability to grow takes over and they climb up the coir chasing the sun.
Soon the 10 varieties of proprietary hops are ready to be harvested before being driven 77 miles to the Rogue brewery in Newport, Oregon.
WE GROW HONEY
Since 2012, we’ve harvested our own honey, made by 7,140,289 of Rogue honeybees. Rogue honeybees pollinate everything at the farm from the hops and marionberries to the pumpkins, jalapenos and cucumbers.
Without bees, plants would struggle to grow, as pollination is an important part of the growing process. Our honeybees touch every plant on the farm and play a role in every beer we make.
Each hive takes several hours to harvest the honey from start to finish. Once our beekeepers have gone through the whole process, we have enough honey to use in Rogue Farms beers & spirits. It’s can be time-consuming but the quality and flavor of the honey – and of course the beer – is worth it.
Marionberries are a unique variety of blackberry cultivated by the USDA at nearby Oregon State University. They’re bred to be larger, sweeter and juicier than the typical blackberry. The Prickless Marionberry – the type we grow – is easier to pick by hand.
It takes a year after planting to get marionberries that are ripe and flavorful enough to use in our beers, but like everything else on our farm, it’s a labor of love. We now have 2 acres dedicated to marionberries.
By late June we’ll handpick roughly 13,500 pounds of big, ripe marionberries. They are then sent to the brewery where Brewmaster John Maier uses them to brew Marionberry Sour. It takes time and energy, but the finished products are well worth it.
Sponsored post: This post was provided by our conference sponsor, Rogue Ales & Spirits