Moxee, Washington, more specifically in a corner of Loftus Ranches' Cascade Hop field no. 41. The new 30-barrel brewing system is made by Metal Fabrication from Portland, Oregon.
The sound of bubbling CO2 echoed the otherwise quiet building from the 60 and 30 barrel fermenters occupied with the very first run of Bale Breaker's two signature ales:
- Topcutter IPA, 6.8% ABV and 70IBU featuring Simcoe for bittering and Citra, Simcoe, Ahtanum, and Mosaic for late additions.
- Field 41 Pale Ale, 4.5% ABV and 38IBU dry-hopped with generous amounts of Simcoe and Citra.
Hopunion's Hop and Brew school (an annual event at the end of August and will quite possibly take advantage of Bale Breaker's new facility this year), the hop growers garner a rockstar-esque notoriety from craft and home brewers that never existed before.
Piled High Imperial Fresh Hop Ale took 3rd place for the Judge's Award, and 1st place People's Choice Award, at the Yakima Fresh Hop Ale Festival, a truly unique beer festival that features fresh (directly off the vine and not dried) hop ales only. The Fresh Hop Ale Festival is every bit a beer industry festival as it is a beer enthusiast festival featuring larger craft breweries like Ninkasi, New Belgium, Lagunitas, and an array of others all featuring fresh hop ales, while the VIP tent hosts prominent hop growing families, hop brokers such as Hop Union, and hop processors like Yakima Chief.
The award-winning Piled High Imperial Fresh Hop Ale was brewed on the family farm's pilot system, a 10-gallon Brew Magic by SABCO, which still plays an important role in hop research and development for Loftus Ranches, as well as the potential for future tap room exclusive specials at the brewery.