Farm Team – beers showcasing the terroir of the PNW

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Farm Team is a seasonal beer series from Reuben’s Brews that offers an uncommon opportunity for consumers to learn about the source of the ingredients used in the beer. That is, the beers celebrate the relationship between farm and brewery. The current edition is available now: Farm Team Winter 2022 Edition. You’ll find it at the Reuben’s Brews Taproom in Ballard, PCC Community Market locations, and select retailers around the Seattle area.

In recent years, the term terroir has increasingly found its way into the beer-lovers vocabulary. The origin of the ingredients–the soil and the environment in which they are grown–contributes to the character of the beer. Here in the Pacific Northwest, farmers grow both of beer’s primary agricultural ingredients: hops and barley. That’s not the case in most regions of the world. In that regard, Northwesterners are fortunate that many of the local beers they drink are not just brewed locally but are also grown locally.

The Farm Team series represents a collaboration involving Reuben’s Brews, PCC Community Markets, and the great farmers of the Pacific Northwest. The purpose of the series is to highlight the unique terroir of the region, with each beer focusing on a single hop from a particular farm and a single grain from a particular farm.

In the autumn of 2021, the first Farm Team beer featured Strata hops from Roy Farms in Moxee, Washington along with barley from Knutzen Farms in Burlington, Washington. Available right now, the second beer in the series features Amarillo hops from Double R Ranches of Harrah, Washington along with barley from Washington Bulb Company of Mount Vernon, Washington.


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All of the beers in the series are the same style of beer: cold pale ale. The brewery selected this style of beer because it allows the character of both the hops and the barley to stand front and center. In the brewery’s own words, “The Cold Pale Ale style allows the full brightness of the hops to shine on a crisp and clean base which also highlights the unique character of Pacific Northwest malts.”

So, without further ado, here is an introduction to the ingredients that Reuben’s Brews used in Farm Team Winter 2022 Edition. From the brewery:


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Meet the Hops

The Riel family has been a member of the Yakima Valley community since the 1890’s when Wilfred Riel traveled from Canada and settled in Moxee, WA working for the Moxee Hop Company. His three sons, including Willie Riel, decided to start their careers as farmers by leasing 80 acres of property on the Yakama Reservation. Willie eventually moved his family and farming operations to Harrah, WA and established Double ‘R’ Hop Ranches in 1945.

Willie’s two sons, Jerome and Leonard, continued the family farming operations, producing hops, potatoes, apples and Hereford cattle, for many years with the help and guidance of Willie. Double ‘R’ Hop Ranches is now owned and operated by grandsons Kevin, Keith and Steve Riel. With great grandchildren Jessica and Zackary recently joining the business, Double ‘R’ is now a 5th generation family farm.

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While other crops have been added to their farming portfolio, hop production has been, for many years, the soul of Double ‘R’ Hop Ranches. With more than 100 years of collective experience in hop farming, the family strives to produce quality hops for brewers all over the world. They are committed to food safety and sustainability, maintaining a GlobalG.A.P. certification for all of their hop products.

Meet the Grain

“There is a unique marriage between the tulips and the barley, a synergism that they share together. If the grain for flour is for spirit and health and the spirits of the barley are for a little fun and games and the tulips are all about beauty then we have a complete heart body mind and soul.” — John Roozen

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William Roozen emigrated from Holland in 1947 with years of experience in the bulb industry. He had a good back, strong hands, and a heart pulsing with dreams. Roozen started a bulb farm on five acres of land, holding meetings in a garage and toiling long hours beside a few hired hands. He saved money by buying used tractors and farm equipment.

Today, Roozen’s small company has grown to be the largest tulip-bulb grower in the country and one of the largest employers in the Skagit Valley. The flower industry in the Skagit Valley has become an important element of the county’s economy.

The Roozen family’s hard work ethic spans at least six generations. The family first began raising tulips in Holland in the mid-1700’s.

In addition to their famous Tulips the Roozen’s also grow barley for Skagit Valley Malting, including this crop of Pilot Pale. Pilot is a UK bred barley variety that was originally selected for its higher temperature stable Beta-Amylase. Because of this, brewers are able to get a dryer finishing beer while mashing at a higher temperature. It brews any style very well due to its subtle malt flavor at lower color, but can also be a big help in higher gravity beers when kilned higher (our Pilot Dark Ale). All-around workhorse malt in the brewhouse.



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