Cascade Cup 2017 champion announced

Michigan hop producer places in national hop competition.

Jeff Steinman and Nunzino Pizza of Hop Head Farms relishing in the glory of their 4th place finish. | Photo by Rob Sirrine, MSU Extension

Jeff Steinman and Nunzino Pizza of Hop Head Farms relishing in the glory of their 4th place finish. | Photo by Rob Sirrine, MSU Extension

Inside a rectangular airplane hangar, walls adorned with murals of World War II fighter planes, hop producers, brewers, brokers and other attendees recently gathered for dinner, dancing and craft beer on the final night of the American Hop Convention. The Palm Springs Air Museum served host for craft beer, camaraderie and the highly anticipated announcement of the prestigious Cascade Cup.

Annually, the Cascade Cup is awarded to the top producer of Cascade hops as judged by blind comparison of hop aroma, appearance and quality analysis results by a panel of the best U.S. craft brewers from the Hop Quality Group. Thirty-one “brewer’s cut” samples from the 2017 hop harvest were submitted by U.S. hop growers. The Hop Quality Group is non-profit organization developed to advocate for and ensure a sustainable supply of high quality hops for the U.S. craft brewing industry.

Matt Brynildson, brewmaster at Firestone Walker Brewing Company, and Tom Nielson, manager of raw material development and quality at Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, announced the runner-ups prior to revealing the winner.

4th place- Hop Head Farms, Michigan

3rd place- B & D Hop Farm, Oregon (winners of the 2016 Cascade Cup)

2nd place- CLS Farms, Washington State

The winner of the 2017 Cascade Cup was Morrier Ranch, fifth generation hop growers from Washington State. While there is only one Cascade Cup winner each year, the 2017 Cascade Cup competition could very well be remembered as the year Michigan splashed onto the national hop scene as Hop Head Farms beat out twenty-six other hop producers across the U.S. to claim 4th place. If you are interested in hop or barley production, registration for the 4th annual Great Lakes Hop and Barley Conference is happening now and includes a tour of Hop Head Farms!

Please continue to visit Michigan State University Extension’s hop webpage or the MSU Hops News Facebook site for up to date information.  

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