From Farm to Glass in the Yakima Valley
The Yakima Valley is fast becoming the craft beverage center of the Pacific Northwest.
Inspired by the quality of local hops, winegrapes and other fruits, Yakima Valley artisans are handcrafting beverages that make us say "Cheers." Did you know that Washington's Yakima Valley is home to the largest variety of produce in the Pacific Northwest, including 78 percent of the hops grown in the entire nation? With fields, farms and orchards at every turn, it’s so easy to eat local in this abundant sun-kissed land. It’s also inspirational. It seems that with each passing month more artisans are unveiling unique beverages inspired by local ingredients.
The Yakima Valley is already known for its 80-plus wineries and more than 5,200 hectares of vineyards. Established in 1983, it’s the region of Washington’s oldest appellation and produces roughly one-third of its total grapes. One Yakima Valley winery, Treveri Cellars, is Washington’s only winery that exclusively produces sparkling wine. “Our guests come here to learn about and taste a product they won’t find anywhere nearby,” said Treveri’s Julie Grieb. There are also several Yakima Valley tasting routes to follow.
Long referred to as Hoptown, USA, the Yakima Valley is just now becoming known for its fine locally crafted beers. Meghann Quinn and her two brothers are great-grandchildren of the farmers who planted some of the valley's first hops. Today, they manage a 360-plus hectare hop farm that specializes in growing hops for the burgeoning craft beer industry and their own Bale Breaker Brewing Company, located in the middle of a hop field. “Not only do guests learn about hops and get to touch and smell the plant, they really enjoy our large patio and lawn area,” Meghann said.
Nearly 80 percent of the country's hops are grown in the Yakima Valley.
Apples are certainly not new to the Yakima Valley but artisan-crafted hard cider is. It has been just a few years since third-generation Yakima Valley farmer, Craig Campbell, and his wife Sharon decided to start Tieton Cider Works. They recently opened the Tieton Cider Bar in Yakima, and it’s the talk of the town for its enlightening tasting flights and Growler-fill program. “I’m thrilled to be part of the Cider revolution and thinking about where we can take this industry,” Sharon said.