The Fresh Hop Ale Festival is a non-profit organization whose goal is to present one of the country's top 10 beer festivals, celebrate the Yakima Valley's hops, and support Yakima county based arts and science organizations.
"The Yakima Valley contains approximately 75 percent of the total United States hop acreage, with an average farm size of 450 acres accounting for over 77 percent of the total United States hop crop."
The Fresh Hop Ale Festiva was created by Allied Arts of Yakima in 2003. Conceived as a fundraiser for the arts, the Yakima FHAF was an unlikely catalyst for the emerging craft beer explosion. At the festival’s inception, “wet hop” or “fresh hop” beers were almost unheard of. The original lineup of beers included less than 10 breweries.
In these early years, a connection was established between local hop growers and the festival. This, in turn, created a natural link between brewers and the wet hops needed for their fresh hop brews. When Allied Arts closed, a new non-profit organization called the Fresh Hop Group was formed by festival committee chairs to secure the future of the FHAF and to preserve the spirit of the fundraiser. Proceeds from the festival continue to support Yakima Valley arts and science programs.
Today, the Fresh Hop Ale Festival continues to be held in Yakima Washington, the heart of hop country. Hosting more than 70 breweries, wineries, and cideries along with seven thousands guests, it is recognized by numerous beer publications as one of the nation's best beer festivals.
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