By Fred Geschwill, Owner of F & B Farms and Nursery
On Aug. 4, we celebrate IPA Day. August is usually the busiest time of year for a hop farmer, as that’s our harvest window. So as you raise a glass of your favorite Oregon IPA to toast our bounty, reflect on what makes that beer possible.
Most people know the key ingredients for beer are water, grain, yeast and hops. But few realize there is a fifth ingredient—natural gas. Oregon is home to some of the best breweries in the world. That wouldn’t be the case without local hops and natural gas.
I am a third generation hop farmer at F & B Farms and Nursery, in Woodburn, Oregon, with 300 acres of hops. We use natural gas in the drying process, allowing us to preserve and export hops for use by brewers around the world. Brewers in turn also use natural gas to evenly heat their mash.
As farmers, we are the original conservationists. We care deeply about our land, air, water and community. Right now, natural gas is the cleanest burning fuel farmers can use. And we’re excited that even cleaner options, such as renewable natural gas and hydrogen, are coming online.
As you enjoy that perfectly hopped IPA, remember how much time, sweat, energy and love goes into making that beer.