The history of Oregon hops begins in the dirt just a few miles south of Rogue Farms in Independence.
The year was 1867. Farmers Adam Weisner and William Wells planted the state’s first commercial hopyard near the small town of Buena Vista. For reasons that are unknown to us, the first crop was a failure. But their attempts to grow hops caught the eye of Eugene area farmer George Leasure. Using rootstocks from Weisner and Wells, he started Oregon’s first successful hopyard two years later on the banks of the McKenzie River.
A Willamette Valley hopyard in 1900. From Oregon State University.
Hop Fever quickly spread throughout the Willamette Valley. Hops loved the loamy soils, the cool and wet winters, and the long sunny days of summer. By 1905, Oregon was the top grower of hops in the United States and would soon overtake Germany as the top grower in the world.
At Rogue Farms, we’re proud to be part of Oregon’s hop heritage. Come join us this fall and relax with one of our farm grown beers and spirits in the oldest hop growing region of the state.
To learn more about Oregon hops history:
Visit the Oregon Hops and Brewing Archives at Oregon State University.
Ride the Buena Vista Ferry during a tour of hop country.
Search for historic hop photos in the Oregon State University Archives.
Read about Rogue’s beginning and the famous naked lady in a bathtub.
Check out this story about Rogue Farms in the latest Modern Farmer. Beer and spirits begin on the farm!
Waiting for a hazelnut harvest is all about patience.
The nuts began falling from the trees nearly a month ago. But we have to wait until there’s enough nuts on the orchard floor before the harvest can begin. The timing is entirely in the hands of Mother Nature.
This week Mother Nature said, “Let’s go.”
Hazelnuts begin falling in early September as the nights get cool and the winds grow stronger.
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We woke up this morning to find the hopyard shrouded in fog and thought it was so stunning we just had to snap these photos.
Fall is here and winter is coming. Each season here at Rogue Farms is different and beautiful in its own way.
Starting today we’re on our fall and winter schedule at Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon.
Our new hours of operation are…
Wednesday – Friday: 12pm – 7pm
Saturday – Sunday: 11am to 7pm
Monday – Tuesday: CLOSED
Farms Tours are held Saturday and Sunday at 3pm. Other days and times may be arranged by calling us at 503-838-9813.
Please drop by, and enjoy one of our beers, spirits, ciders and sodas with a front row seat of the beauty of Autumn on the farm!
We’re halfway through the hop harvest at Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon. Our Rebel hops are coming off the trellis wires today and we have three more varieties to pick over the next week.
When that’s done, we’ll have a brief respite and then it will be back to work to bring in our crops of Autumn. Wigrich sweet corn and our neighbor’s hazelnuts are two of the crops grown for Rogue Spirits.
Our 4-acre field of Wigrich sweet corn.
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While most of you are enjoying a relaxing Labor Day holiday, we at Rogue Farms are busier than ever.
Two major harvests are coming in at the same time, our Dare™ malting barley at our farm in Tygh Valley and another wave of hops at our farm in Independence.
As farmers, we learned long ago that when the crops are ready we have to be ready to pick them, holiday or not.
The start of the 2014 hop harvest at Rogue Farms.
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Mother Nature has a funny way of testing us.
We had just started picking our Freedom hops, one of seven varieties we grow at Rogue Farms, when we got word that our wheat was ripe and ready.
So with pickers in the hop rows and combines in the wheat field, we got to work bringing in two crops at the same time.
Reaping, threshing and winnowing our five acre field of wheat.
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The season of harvesting our beers and spirits is just getting started. Read all about it by clicking on the image below.
Big thunderstorms moved in overnight at Rogue Farms in Tygh Valley, Oregon, forcing us to hold off harvesting our Risk™ malting barley.
Maybe we’ll be able to resume this afternoon, maybe tomorrow or the next day. It’s all up to Mother Nature.
We can’t harvest wet barley. Too much moisture in the grain when it’s stored in the silo can lead to all sorts of problems ranging from fungal disease to spontaneous combustion. You read that right. Wet grain can get so hot all on it’s own that it will suddenly burst into flames.
Storm clouds over our Risk™ malting barley. This is the field we hope to harvest today.
But that’s the least of our troubles this time of year.