A beer that pays tribute to the real people behind every beer you drink.
Beyond the boot-wearing brewers who make the beer and the smiling beertenders who pour it, there are real people behind every pint of beer you drink. At its core, beer is an agricultural product, one that relies on the hard work of skilled, trained workers who travel thousands of miles every year to work all summer in the hop farming industry. It’s something that Bale Breaker Brewing wants you to fully understand.
It started in 2017, when Smitty and Quinn (Kevin Smith and Kevin Quinn), two of the owners of Bale Breaker Brewing, traveled to Guadalajara and Colima to make beer with breweries in those Mexican cities. Those were the first Sessoines del Migrante (Migrant Sessions). Not long thereafter, their Mexican counterparts visited Yakima to make a beer at Bale Breaker Brewing.
The result was Sesiones Del Migrantes IPA — a mango IPA brewed to benefit a local non-profit that connects and educates immigrant families. This year Bale Breaker Brewing hosts its annual Sesiones Del Migrante party on Saturday, May 7th — a celebration at the brewery’s taproom near Yakima. Having atteneded this party in the past, I’d say it is more like a community festival. Lots of smiles, lots of dancing, lots of fun. A serious fiesta!
A statement on Instagram explains that beyond raising funds, the goal has always been to “educate and inspire beer-drinkers around the world to pause and recognize that the beer they’re enjoying is brewed because of the migrant workers who help harvest and process these hops.”
The hop farming industry relies on workers who return to the Northwest from Mexico year after year, and in many cases generation after generation, to help put hops in your beer. It’s hard work, seasonal work, with long hours, seven days a week until the year’s crop is in.
Recognize that it is not simply physical labor, though there is plenty of that. These workers are trained to perform specific jobs, jobs that they’ll return to perform for years and years to come. When the harvest is complete, most of these workers return to their homes and families in Mexico.
“Every year, Mexican laborers travel from their hometowns 5,000 miles south of the Pacific Northwest to come to Yakima to harvest hops for breweries across the globe,” said the statement. “It’s backbreaking labor – 12-hour days during peak season, in tough conditions. No migrant workers = no hops, no hops = no beer.”
Bale Breaker Brewing invites you to join them on Saturday, May 7th at the brewery’s taproom near Yakima to celebrate the Sesiones Del Migrante and to honor the workers who make it all possible. Along with the lots of beer, food trucks will feed the crowd, and live music will keep everyone dancing. Follow Bale Breaker Brewing’s Instagram feed for all the details.
Sesiones Del Migrantes Mango IPA is out there right now. Look for it on draft and in 12-oz cans across Bale Breaker’s distribution network. Use Bale Breaker’s beer finder to locate it near you.
For more beer-related events around Washington, check out the Washington Beer Blog’s events page.
For more news about recent beer releases, visit the Washington Beer Blog’s New Beer Releases page.