Soon organic beers must include organic hops

The National Organic Standards Board has recommended to the USDA that hops be removed from the list of nonorganic ingredients allowed in organic products, and that beginning in 2013 all beer labeled organic must be brewed with organic hops.

The American Organic Hop Grower Association had petitioned to have hops removed from the list. Many craft beer makers supported the petition, such as Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Lakefront Brewery, and Seven Bridges Cooperative.

“We think it’s a good decision,” Meghann Quinn, executive director of the organic hop growers association, Association, said in reaction to the announcement. “We want organic beer to be brewed with organic hops, and we think this lays out a reasonable road map to get there.”

Organic beer can continue to be brewed with nonorganic hops until Jan. 1, 2013.

Hops were placed on the nonorganic product list in 2007 because brewers said they couldn’t find enough organic hops to meet their needs.

Growing organically costs more — in the case of hops about $5,000 an acre to $7,000 an acre more. Because brewers could use nonorganic hops in beers and still label them organic the demand for organic hops has been capped. For instance, only 100 of the 30,500 acres of hops in Washington’s Yakima Valley are devoted to organic hops.


Sierra Nevada anniversary party in hop field

Sierra Nevada Brewing has announced plans for its 30th anniversary party, Nov. 15 at the brewery’s hop field.

Let’s cut right to the invitation:

Come and celebrate this American craft beer renaissance at the Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Party in our very own estate-hops field.

The party kicks off at 4 pm with sampling of 30 beers including some of your favorites from the last 30 years, plus a few unique finds from the cellar. Many of these beers never have been, and never will be, released to the public – this may be your only chance to sample them! They are available in limited quantities, so arrive early to ensure that you get to taste the ones you are most looking forward to. We will be posting the full beer list in the coming weeks.

The evening will also feature the musical stylings of Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings featuring two very special guests! The Joe Craven Trio will kick off the evening’s festivities, followed by Houston Jones.

The Sierra Nevada Taproom is catering dinner from 5-8 pm, which costs $15. You can purchase dinner tickets onsite at the event.

Fresh Baked Breads – Straight From the Sierra Nevada Ovens
Sierra Nevada Salad – Mixed Organic Greens Tossed In Balsamic Dressing with Cherry Tomatoes, Crumbled Gorgonzola and Candied Chico Pecans
Fall Vegetables -Tossed In an Estate Garden Herb Butter
Garlic Mashed Potatoes – With Sweet Creamery Butter and Roasted Garlic
Estate Herb Rubbed Tri Tip – Pale Ale Bbq Sauce
Sweet Pepper Polenta – With Roasted Estate Tomatoes And Peppers, Onions Carrots And Chives

* Date: Monday, November 15th
* Time: 4:00 – 9:00 pm
* Place: Sierra Nevada Brewery, 1075 E. 20th St, Chico CA, 95928 – The party will take place in the Sierra Nevada Hop Field.

Tickets are only available online, in the Sierra Nevada Taproom, and the Sierra Nevada Gift Store.

Remember, you must be 21 or older to attend! Photo ID will be checked on site and there are no in and out privileges.

How to get to the Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Party?
1. FREE SHUTTLE – from downtown Chico. The shuttle will run on a continuous loop from 3:30-10 pm. Pick up and drop off are at the transit center across from Madison Bear Garden.
2. RIDE YOUR BIKE – there is plentiful bike parking at the brewery!
3. PARKING AT SILVER DOLLAR FAIRGROUND – complimentary parking available at the fairgrounds, a shuttle will run back and forth from the brewery from 3:30 pm – 10 pm.


“This may be your only chance to sample them!”


Brewing scholarship deadline Nov. 11

The American Brewers Guild is now accepting applications for the Glen Hay Falconer Foundation slot in the Intensive Brewing Science & Engineering course that runs from Jan. (2011) through July 1, with the final week of onsite instruction in Sacramento, Calif. The full application must be received no later than Nov. 11,

The scholarship is open to professional brewers and homebrewers from the states of Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Hawaii and California’s northern geographic region (San Francisco/Monterey Bay areas and north). The full-tuition scholarship also includes a $500 stipend to help offset travel and lodging expenses for the residential week. Full details and scholarship applications are available at

The course is designed for brewers and homebrewers who lack formal training in brewing science and covers all the fundamentals of beer production and quality assurance.

The scholarship is co-sponsored by ABG and the Glen Hay Falconer Foundation, a non-profit organization created to commemorate and celebrate the life, interests, and good works of a well-loved and leading Northwest brewer who died and untimely death in 2002.


Hopland Brewery Ale House closes

Hopland Brewery Ale House

The Hopland Brewery Ale House, the first home of Mendocino Brewing, has closed.

Opened in 1983, the Hopland Brewery was California’s first post-Prohibition brewpub and only the second in the United States.

Mendocino Brewing is moving the ale house to Ukiah, where it has long operated its production brewery, after its Hopland landlord did not extend its lease.

In the press release the company states, “We thank the friendly and loyal Hopland community who wholeheartedly welcomed us all these many years. We are deeply indebted to the host of loyal customers for their constant support and love. They have been as passionate about our beers as we have been in brewing and serving them for these past 27 years. They have helped make our beers the Legends that they have become.”

The new ale house should be open within a few months.