In honor of beer's agricultural roots and our amazing growers, we like to say that "great beer grows here." Each of our family-owned hop farms are as unique as the varieties they cultivate, and we take pride in being able to share their stories and tell the history of their farms. From their innovative farming techniques, to their newly expanded/updated, state-of-the-art production facilities, our growers consistently demonstrate an unparalleled commitment to continuous improvement and sustainability within the hop industry. They are dedicated to their craft and take pride in being an active component of the brewing industry as well. This direct connection to the farm not only benefits you as a brewer, but also allows us at YCH to proactively manage acreage and harvest quality based on your brewing needs. By getting to know our growers, we hope you'll feel better connected to our farms and the fields from which your hops come. It's no secret to us that quality begins in the field, and that it is our owners’ rich hop farming heritage that provides YCH with an invaluable foundation of knowledge for delivering the highest quality products, processes, and service.
- Year Founded: 1920s
- Location: Salem, Oregon
- Family Owned By: Doug and Audrey Weathers
- Varieties Grown: Brewers Gold, Cascade, Centennial, Citra®, Crystal, Magnum, Mosaic®, Mt. Hood, Nugget, Perle, Santiam, Simcoe®, Sterling
- Farm Certifications: Salmon Safe®; currently pursuing GlobalGAP
- Recent Investments: New freezer and cooling room, upgraded baling room; new picking machine and kiln in construction
[We’re] large enough to be a player but small enough to take care with every hop bale that we produce. We are very hands on in every stage of production.
The roots of Sodbuster Farms date back to the 1920s when Wilford Weathers and Ray Kerr began growing their first hops. The farming tradition was continued by the following generation when Don and Rosalie Weathers settled in the fertile Willamette Valley Oregon in 1958, growing rye grass, hazelnuts and hops, along with their six children. It wasn’t long before hop farming became a Weathers family affair as immediate and extended family began growing, harvesting, selling, and shipping hops for the farm. Hop farming wasn’t their only contribution to the farm community, as the family also produced twine, sold specialty machinery parts and supported scientific research.
Carrying on the tradition, Don and Rosalie’s son, Doug, with his wife Audrey, founded Sodbuster Farms on the family’s original 250 acres in Salem, OR in 1983. Since then, they have expanded to approximately 1,200 acres and grow more than 14 different hop varieties, including Cascade, Citra®, Equinox®, Mt Hood, Mosaic®, Sterling and Simcoe®. Their daughter Erica Lorentz, her husband, Jacob, and their three children, have also recently joined the operation, leading the Weathers into their fifth generation of family hop farming.
Sodbuster Farms is driven by a passion for quality, and environmentally friendly practices. The family enjoys connecting with brewers by providing premium hops for new and exciting beers including more than 20 fresh hop ales that can be found at breweries throughout the state of Oregon each fall.
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