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Posts tagged ‘Rogue Ales’

Stringing And Staking Hops, How The Old Timers Did It

staking 01As we wrap up stringing and staking our hops at Rogue Farms, we want to share this newsreel video from 1969 showing how they did it in Great Britain.

They went to amazing lengths back then – you’ll get the reference when you see the video.

While the techniques are different from how we do it today at Rogue Farms, we still string and stake our 65,049 bines and 42-acres by hand. We share their pride over a job well done and their love for a pint of good beer.

Stringing And Staking Our Hops

Just a few days into spring and we’re starting our first big chore of the season – stringing and staking our 42-acre hopyard. The job requires nearly a dozen farmhands and days of back breaking work. But if you want to grow your own beer, this is what you got to do. It starts with the string…

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The string is called coir, a biodegradable twine made from Sri Lanka cocoanut husks.

Coir is a perfect climbing material for hop bines. Growers in Oregon’s Willamette Valley have been using it for decades. Farm hands ride high in the hopyard, tying one end of the string to the trellis wires.

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And letting the other end fall to the ground.

hop stringing 01

Right behind them comes another crew.

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Pushing the strings deep in the soil and staking them tight.

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The work continues all this week, come rain or shine. When we’re done we’ll have strung and staked 253 miles of coir across all 42 acres. Now we’re ready for the hops to grow.

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A strung and staked hopyard at Rogue Farms.

How important is stringing and staking? Without strings, hops are a weed that ramble across the field. With strings, hops climb off the ground, away from moisture and bine killing fungal diseases. Strings allow them to seek out the sunshine they so desperately crave during the growing season, and to produce cones filled the precious lupulin which gives beer its bitterness and aroma.

Because of strings, a weed becomes a crop.

Come to Rogue Farms this week and see how we string and stake the seven varieties of hops we grow for Rogue ales, lagers, porters, stouts, meads, kolsch and braggots. Join the Revolution!

roguefarms grow the revolution

The First Signs Of Beer

We took a stroll through our hopyard this morning and look at what we found!

The first bines of the season are emerging from the soil. They’re so tiny, about the size of a bottle cap, we almost didn’t see them.

A new bine pokes through the dirt in the 42-acre hopyard at Rogue Farms.

A new bine pokes through the dirt in the 42-acre hopyard at Rogue Farms.

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Our New Crop Of Beer And Spirits

With an early spring at Rogue Farms in Tygh Valley, this year’s crop of Risk™ malting barley is off to a good start.

After laying dormant during the cold season, the shoots have resumed growing and are nearly three inches tall.

Risk in Field

Mt. Hood peeks through an irrigation wheel at Rogue Farms in Tygh Valley, Oregon.

Since we’re surrounded by wildlife, we often get some interesting visitors wandering through the fields.

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High Strung Hops

Yes, it seems silly to get excited over string.

But this was no ordinary shipment via UPS. When the string arrived at Rogue Farms, the delivery folks unloaded dozens of bales weighing hundreds of pounds apiece. In all, we now have 253 miles of string.

Bales of string

Just some of the bales of string that arrived at Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon.

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Our Bees Are Media Stars

Bees To CA 5When we last checked in with the Rogue Farms honeybees, they were shipping out south to spend the winter pollinating an almond orchard near Tracy, California.

Much to our surprise, their story caught the attention of the Oregon Beer Growler, which wanted to know why we’d go to so much trouble for our bees.

Here’s what they discovered.

“The journey across state lines and back again may sound like one big endeavor for a bunch of bees, but their contribution to the flavor of beer and the health of the environment in general is truly greater than their physical size.” -Oregon Beer Growler.

Click on the image to read the February issue online and see what’s happening in Oregon’s beer scene. Then head to page 18 to read about our honeybees.

Beer Growler

Behind The Scenes At Rogue Farms

At the end of every one of these stories we invite you to come visit us at Rogue Farms.

For us, there’s nothing better than showing folks how beer and spirits begin in the dirt. Spend a day with us and we’ll open your eyes to how that Rogue you’re drinking is actually a farm product, made with crops that we planted, grew and harvested ourselves.

Here’s what you might see on any given day at Rogue Farms.

Walk Among The Hops

Brewmaster John Maier in the rows of Rogue Farms Freedom hops.

Brewmaster John Maier in the rows of Rogue Farms Freedom hops in August.

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Game Day With Rogue

Beer Tasting On The Farm

Trying out the beers at Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon.

Nobody knows us better than the people who live near Rogue Farms. They’re not shy with their opinions about our farm grown beers and spirits.

Naturally we were pleased when one of the local foodies singled out Rogue as must-have beer for this weekend’s Super Bowl parties.

Rogue offers an extensive collection of styles — some very unique, like its series of Voodoo Doughnut-inspired brews (Lemon Chiffon Crueller Ale or Chocolate, Peanut Butter Banana Ale anyone?) — making it likely guests will find something to their liking.

-Polk Itemizer Observer, A Super Spread For Your Super Party

Like the article says, when it comes to beer, spirits and wine, we have an embarrassment of riches here in Oregon. It makes us appreciate even more how hard we have to work to keep growing world class beers, spirits, ciders and sodas.

Feel free to join at Rogue Farms on Super Bowl Sunday. We’ll have the game on, and you can enjoy our beers on the farm where we grow the ingredients to brew it.

roguefarms grow the revolution

Our Honeybees California Vacation

At Rogue Farms we’re used to getting up before the sun. But today began especially early, as we loaded up our 7,140,289 honeybees for the start of their California vacation.

Bees To CA 1

Our bees will spend the next couple of months pollinating an almond orchard near Tracy, California. That’s a 600-mile drive to the south, and an early start was necessary because we want to arrive by tonight. The less time on the road, the less stress on our honeybees.

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Muddied, But Open

The floods that closed Rogue Farms for several days last week are drawing down. The road is now passable, and we’re open for business all week.

Normally, we’d be closed today and Tuesday. But we want to make sure you’re stocked up on beer from our New Year’s Garage Sale for your parties.

What you’ll see when you drive in is a lot of mud in the fields.

Muddy Hopyard

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