Homebrewing Now Big Business in Yakima Valley - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Homebrewing Now Big Business in Yakima Valley

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YAKIMA, Wash.-- Beer is big business across our region. In fact, most of the hops used in the United States are grown locally in the Yakima Valley. And a growing number of homebrewers are helping bring the industry out of breweries and into your kitchen.

Trent Hurlbut started brewing with some friends about a year ago. He says it started as something fun to do with local ingredients, and has since turned into a weekly ritual.

"It's a lot of fun. It's kind of the satisfaction of being able to make something yourself. And who doesn't love beer," said Hurlbut.

Trent says in the past year his small brew club has grown nearly 400% with more and more people turning out to help brew every week.

"It's awesome. It's been such a positive experience for kind of our group of friends here and every week it's something we all look forward to," said Hurlbut.

And he's not alone, brew clubs across the country are growing too. The American Homebrewers Association says they've seen their numbers grow 20% every year and say there are roughly a million homebrewers across the country.

For Yakima, a community known for its hops, some local businessmen hope their store will help things grow even more.

"Yakima needed a homebrew shop. And there wasn't really one. And so we are fully dedicated to providing that for Yakima," said Jeff Perkins, co-owner of Yakima Valley Hops and Brew Supply.

Perkins opened the shop about a month ago and has already seen growth in the local homebrewing industry.

Good for business, and good for an industry with deep roots in the Yakima Valley.      

Both Perkins and Hurlbut say they anticipate seeing the homebrew industry continue to grow locally.

They say it's both easy and fun and just about anyone can do it, and do it well.