On Monday, I helped out with the hop harvest for my friends who own Moonlight Brewing and Russian River Brewing for the two breweries’ fresh hop beers. Moonlight’s is called Homegrown (in some places) and Russian River’s is know as HopTime. It was a lot fun — though on Tuesday I was still a little sore and scratched up. It took about five or six hours to complete the harvest, then both brewers retired to their respective breweries to begin the process of making their fresh hop ales. The rest of us enjoyed a yummy lunch at Russian River provided by Natalie Cilurzo, the hop queen of Russian River Brewing.
Barley, the dog, adorned with fresh hops plays in the hopyard.
The Moonlight/Russian River hopyard.
Brewers Brian Hunt, assistant brewer Travis, and Vinnie Cilurzo in their hopyard.
Brian Hunt on a ladder cutting down hopvines from ten-foot wires strung across the yard.
The volunteer hop pickers in front of Moonlight’s brewery.
Everybody works in a circle picking the hop cones from the vine and collecting them in buckets.
A mound of hopvines ready to be picked. Cascade and Chinook hops are mixed in the pile.
A third hop is kept separate. This is Red Vine, a type of cluster hop.
Vinnie Cilurzo picking Red Vine hops.