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Fresh hops sent to Korea for brewing

The hops were used to brew fresh hop ales by three Seoul breweries and were released last month. (Image source: Yakima Chief Hops)

Yakima Chief Hops (YCH), a global hop supplier, has exported the largest shipment of freshly harvested hops from the Pacific Northwest to South Korea in one day for the first time in brewing history

Providing brewers on the other side of the globe with access to hops in their purest form is a huge milestone for the industry. With a mission to connect brewers worldwide with multi-generational family farms, YCH is focused on building strategic partnerships to increase the accessibility of hops for brewers everywhere.

The hops were used to brew fresh hop ales by three Seoul breweries and were released last month.

Because Fresh Hops are a highly perishable product that must be delivered from bine to brewer in 36 hours, they are typically purchased by breweries located close to the source, which are the hop farms of the Pacific Northwest where 75 per cent of the nation’s hops are grown. Even American breweries face logistical challenges such as timing and brewing schedule coordination, making fresh hop ales a difficult beer to brew and a highly sought-after style.

Thanks to the YCH sales and logistics staff, the Washington State Department of Agriculture International Marketing team and Plant Services Program; Korean distributor, Brew Source International; and hop breeding partner, Yakima Chief Ranches, 720 pounds of Mosaic and Ahtanum brand Fresh Hops were successfully delivered to South Korea in one day.

The Fresh Hops travelled 8601km to Seoul Brewery, Amazing Brewery and Playground Brewery, undergoing export inspections and adhering to strict customs requirements.

“When Jim Lambert, YCH Asia Sales Representative, originally proposed the idea, I really felt the energy,” said Tyler Shearn, Import Export Manager at Yakima Chief Hops. “It proved to be quite challenging, requiring months of preparation, attention to detail, and collaboration. At YCH, we’re encouraged to look past challenges and put that first foot forward towards progress and continuous improvement.”