Some of the biggest hop growers in the country spent Wednesday touring the Sierra Nevada Brewery.
"It's great to have them finally be able to explore it to see where some of their hard work ends up producing some great beer," Ryan Arnold, Sierra Nevada’s Communications Manager said.
"It's kind of the only time of the year that we are able to get together as an industry," Blake Crosby from Crosby Hop Farm said.
Most of the nation's hops are grown in the Pacific Northwest.
The flowers are used mainly to give beer its bitterness, but the industry has seen a change in recent years with the growing popularity of micro brews.
"Now we have this new aroma and flavor hop market, with all of these craft breweries growing and coming online at an unprecedented rate. So as those two markets converge, there is a learning curve for a lot of growers," Crosby said.
That growing market is one of the reasons the Hop Growers of America chose to hold their convention at Sierra Nevada, which the brewery was happy to host.
"We've largely made very hop forward beers. So the ingredient is something that is very near and dear to our heart," Arnold said.
Once the fun of the brewery tour ended, the growers and brewers sat down to discuss the state of the industry and how splicing different strains could lead to even better beer in the future.
"The real aim there is we want to get some more aroma type and flavor hops out to the craft market," Crosby said.
Another thing many of the hops growers were eager to learn about while at the brewery were some of Sierra Nevada’s sustainability practices that they hope to take back and implement on their farms.