It's hop harvest time of the year with fresh hop beers - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

It's hop harvest time of the year with fresh hop beers

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YAKIMA, WA - Today is National Beer Lover's Day, so Caitlin Medearis went and checked out what goes on at local breweries during hop harvest season.

Hops are especially easy to grow in the Yakima Valley because of the climate--the constant sunshine allows growers to closely manage the amount of water crops receive and the nutrients that are in the soil.

Owner of Hop Nation, Ben Grossman, says fresh hops are a once-a-year product for local breweries, and during harvest, many brewers make their annual fresh-hop beers

Grossman says there are more acres of these hop fields than there has been in a long time, so the hop business is thriving...all thanks to the craft beer industry.

"Craft brewers use probably double, if not triple or quadruple the amount of a major brand, like Bud Weiser, Coors, whatever," he says. "Raising a lot more hops so it's led to this huge growth in the crop industry."

Because hops growers are able to mandate so much of what goes into their crops in the Yakima Valley, it's also easier to grow organic hops.

According to Grossman, although we've had some strange weather over the summer, this year's organic crops and the overall harvest will be a success.

So, beer lovers, be sure to get out there and try those fresh hop beers right out of this year's harvest while you still can.

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