Who is Yakima Chief Ranches?
Yakima Chief Ranches is a grower-owned, integrated botanicals and brand-management company, specializing in breeding innovative and renowned hop varieties as well as hop farming best practices. YCR’s purpose is to develop, grow and protect the value of first class hop varieties, while relentlessly pursuing quality and driving the industry standard. YCR aims to build meaningful relationships with growers and brewers that are responsive and mutually beneficial. YCR is also a member of Hop Breeding Company (HBC), a research and development organization committed to breeding and releasing premium hop brands.
How do we work together?
Hop Sensory Evaluation
Every spring, Yakima Chief Hops and Yakima Chief Ranches assembles a highly qualified team to carry out raw hop sensory panels. Samples from Hop Breeding Company’s (HBC) single hill plots, seven hill plots, and from advanced lines, are evaluated for color, resin, aroma, and overall impression. All of the data collected from these panels factor into the decision of whether or not those hops will be selected for advancement in the program.
In addition to sensory analysis, YCH and YCR work together with YCH’s brewery customers to collect data on how the hop varieties in the advanced stages of the breeding program perform in various beer styles. The Sales team at YCH gathers a wide range of brewery customers to trial a new experimental variety. Brewers are encouraged to get creative with each new variety, using them as replacements in current recipes or developing new recipes unique to the experimental variety. Brewers agree to take notes and provide feedback to YCH, which is then compiled and delivered to YCR for evaluation. These experimental trials provide YCR with a wealth of insight, helping them distinguish which varieties deserve a permanent place in their portfolio.