Right now around the world, the hops industry is in two modes: In the Northern Hemisphere, the hop farmers are prepping the poles for twine, making sure the bines that start to grow are the perfect plant to make the arduous climb up, and are preparing the farm for the busy season ahead.

While in the Southern Hemisphere, harvest has been over for weeks, so the hop farmers are composting, cleaning the kilns, and are taking a well deserved break. On this episode we talk to two hop farmers, Eric Desmarais of CLS Farms in Yakima, Washington and Andrew Sutherland, hop farmer at Oast House Farms in Upper Moutere, New Zealand about what they are currently doing around their farms and the differences seasonality makes.


Eric Desmarais, along with his wife Shelley, are co-owners of CLS Farms in Yakima, Washington. He is a fourth generation hop farmer, having worked on the farm since he graduated from Washington State University with a degree in Agricultural Economics. Eric’s love for farming is deeply rooted in the multi-generational influence of his family. CLS Farms’ progressive, forward-looking outlook focuses not only on providing brewers with the highest quality hops, but also with the most current up to date market information. 

Andrew Sutherland caught the ‘hop’ bug in 2014 after taking up the farm managers job at Oast House hops after working for 15 years in the NZ viticulture industry. Fast forward 10 years and he hasn’t looked back, the passion for working with the plant, the people and the soils still gets him out of bed with a strong motivation to continue to improve on the previous year’s result. Nelson Sauvin is a mainstay of Oast House Hops with half the farm planted in that variety, which performs well on the soils of the Moutere Valley sub region of Nelson. As well as smaller areas of traditional varieties like Green Bullet and Wakatu, Oast House grows Motueka, Nectaron and the conundrum that is Riwaka. Andrew is the current chair of the NZ Hops Grower committee which serves as the conduit between the supplier growers and the quality team at NZ Hops, working on continuous improvement to hop quality by setting quality standards for hops delivered to the co-op.

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Estrella Galicia is an independent, family-owned brewery  in northwest Spain, founded in 1906. Estrella Galicia Cerveza Especial, a world class lager is brewed with the finest malt and locally cultivated Galician hops in a state-of-the-art facility in A Coruna. Recognized around the world for quality and exceptional character. Estrella Galicia is “A beer like no other.”