Hop Growers Alliance


Our Mission

Bring Hops Back to Northern California

Our mission is to provide a structured organization for the promotion of local hop growing and craft beer by sharing research, knowledge, resources, marketing, and a common set of farming principles - recognizing our role as responsible stewards of the land.


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Join us for the 4th annual Hop Seminar on October 20th!

This years speakers include Mark Cabrera of California Beer Farms, Scott Bice of Capracopia Hops at Redwood Hill Farm, Nile Zacherle of Mad Fritz Beer, Ron Crane of Crane Ranch Hops, Don Winkle of SMT Law, Paul Hawley of Fogbelt Brewing Company, George Sellu program coordinator for Agribusiness at SRJC and PhD in Agricultural Science/Education from UC Davis, industry representatives from Hopsteiner, local hop farmers and more!

This year's seminar will focus on the business side of developing a small scale commercial hop farm, including topics on legal organization, accounting, and zoning, as well as a complete overview on the process of importing a Wolf harvester and the details of getting it ready for harvest. We will also be focusing on strategies to develop the connections between local hop suppliers and brewers, including techniques that brewers can implement in order to adapt recipes and use fresh whole-cone hops with their existing brewhouse.

Enjoy beer tastings from Russian River Brewing Company, Mad Fritz, Fogbelt Brewing Company, Seismic Brewing Company, Old Possum Brewing Company and more!

If you are thinking about growing hops, diversifying your current farming practices to include hops, or brewing craft beer, this seminar will have a lot to offer. It's also a great opportunity to meet many great people in the California craft brewing industry.

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Why Local Hops?

If you are going to grow hops commercially on a
small scale you have to find your niche. You have to develop a relationship with the brewers... From the grower’s standpoint, get out there and talk to your brewers. From a brewer’s stand point, it is going to take the brewer to step up and say, ‘Let’s work together on this’ because it is an expensive endeavor. In the long run it will be worthwhile.
— Jason Perrault, Perrault Hop Farm - Yakima

A Rich Hop Growing History

Northern California Has More Than 150 Craft Breweries

Sonoma County Alone Has 23+ Craft Breweries

Wet Hops and the Local Advantage

Craft breweries are always looking for ways to make a unique beer. Seasonal wet-hopped beers have become an important part of the craft repertoire.  The key to great wet-hopped beer is the freshness of the hops, and it doesn't get any fresher than local grown hops. We can have brewers out to the hop yard days before harvest and coordinate with brewing schedules so hops are going into the kettle within hours of picking.

As for the most exciting beer, it’s hard to say, along the way we’ve done so many innovative things such as 100% “wet” hop beers where we used all freshly picked hops from our hopyard, several different barrel-aged beers, a collaboration with an Italian brewer friend where we brewed with pepper, honey, roses, and violets, as well as some super hoppy IPAs. If you had to pin me down to one brew, I’d say HopTime Harvest Ale.
— Vinnie Cilurzo, on the magic of wet-hopped beers

Farming Principles

Clean ingredients, clean beer

  • Maximize water efficiency by continuously re-evaluating water usage through awareness of plant uptake, evaporation, weather conditions, soil drainage

  • Evaluate and strategize the geographical relationship of farmland within local watershed in order to minimize run-off of excess nitrogenous compounds and harmful sediment into drainage, streams, creeks, wetlands and rivers

  • Limit use of fertilizers and chemicals to those which are organic in nature and sustainably sourced, while minimizing the total amount of external nutrient inputs

  • Minimize waste products leaving the farm by employing practices such as creative repurposing, recycling, and on-site composting

  • Build towards a symbiotic and natural pest and disease management system through use of mutually beneficial plant species, natural predator insects such as lady bugs and yellow jackets, and early detection and isolation of sources of mildew or other fungus based diseases

  • Provide as fresh and high quality hop product as possible while respecting the land we grow on and minimizing our impact on the environment