RipeLocker Empowering Craft Breweries to Thrive and Extend the Fresh Hop Beer Experience

RipeLocker, the innovative leader in postharvest low-pressure vacuum technology, continues to transform the brewing landscape by extending the availability of fresh hops for breweries. RipeLocker has facilitated the distribution of almost 5,000 lbs of fresh hops this year alone, a significant leap from last year’s 2,000 lbs. The extended brewing period for fresh hop beers is made possible by growers preserving their harvest in RipeLockers, allowing craft micro-breweries to purchase quality fresh hops even beyond the traditional harvest season.

“We’ll never get fresh hops without RipeLocker again!” pledges Dylan Kelly, Production Manager, Tree House Brewing Co., Massachusetts.

The impact of RipeLocker’s technology gained momentum as Oasis Fresh Hop Farms in Washington stored and sent out an impressive 4,134 lbs of fresh hops across the continent US with over 50% going to Tree House Brewery, Co. in Massachusetts, while Mill 95 Farms in Idaho sent another 800 lbs. The remarkable increase in the total amount purchased this year demonstrates the undeniable effectiveness of RipeLocker’s preservation methods, ensuring that breweries have access to high-quality, fresh hops even after the traditional harvest season has ended.

“Traditionally Oasis Fresh Hop Farms sells dried hops to Yakima Chief directly, but with our recent partnership with RipeLocker, we’ve been able to sell superior quality hops directly to brewers across the US. Our crew loves loading the hops into the chamber and getting to pick exactly which field gets chosen. Knowing we are putting a top quality, perfectly fresh product out to brewers that will last up to 60 days helps us financially as a farm and provides the best-of-the-best product without the hassle,” details Tyler Sabin, Hops Manager, Oasis Fresh Hop Farms.

Tyler also explains that “being located on the far edge of the Yakima Valley, meeting with brewers to provide them with fresh hops has always been a challenge, but with RipeLockers we can hold varieties in our cooler and have them available either by pick-up here at the farm or to be trucked out the day the brewer wants them. Even more exciting, brewers can receive RipeLockers and use them at their convenience, as opposed to the exact day they arrive. We’ve also had great success with larger brewers helping us distribute lockers to their neighbors who didn’t have enough refrigeration space for a full pallet. Overall, we simply wouldn’t be selling fresh hops at all if it weren’t for the innovative storage technology RipeLocker provides.”

“RipeLocker has expanded the capabilities of Mill 95 to offer Idaho fresh hops to breweries across the US and internationally. Previously, the lack of appropriate transportation options paired with the volatility of fresh hops limited the ability to get high-quality fresh hops to breweries outside of the 5-hour radius of the Idaho hop-growing region. Harvest 2023 was our first experience using the technology,” reveals Amaya Aguirre-Landa, Marketing & Communications Manager, Mill 95.

By leveraging RipeLocker’s cutting-edge storage solution, breweries are using exceptional quality ingredients and preserving the distinctive aroma and taste that defines fresh hop brews. Breweries benefitting from this technology are renowned establishments including Ghostfish Brewing, Jellyfish Brewing, Coronado Brewing, Harland Brewing, Roadhouse Brewing Company, and HUDL Brewing. These forward-thinking breweries are ecstatic to adopt RipeLocker’s technology in preserving quality fresh hops to ensure offering to their customers the unique flavors that fresh hop beers offer, long after the traditional season concludes.

”We love using hops from RipeLockers at Roadhouse because it gives us the chance to extend our wet-hopped brewing season and to mix up varieties that usually cannot be brewed with at the same time due to various varieties pick windows. Hop harvest is one of our favorite times of the year and most of that is because we can brew wet-hopped beers – which is just downright fun! Because of RipeLocker, we can brew well after harvest is over, with incredible wet hops. I have always been blown away at the quality we get – they have always had that fresh off-the-bine aroma. I also love being able to brew with 2 different varieties that have been picked at different times during harvest. It adds a depth and complexity to the beer that is unlike anything I have ever brewed or tasted,” praises Max Shafer, Brewmaster Roadhouse Brewing Co.

“The RipeLocker technology creates lots of value for the fresh hops industry. In addition to allowing the fresh hops to travel many days over long distances in refrigerated trucks or ships vs. the much more expensive non-refrigerated air freight, our tech allows for the fresh hops “season” to be extended beyond the traditional harvest season.  This benefits the brewer greatly as they now can take delivery of many different hop varieties from the field at different times and create new and delicious beer blends,” asserts George Lobisser, CEO/Co-Founder of RipeLocker, Inc. 

Amaya from Mill 95 applauds, “We were beyond impressed with the technology’s capabilities and the service provided by the RipeLocker team. The hops arrived at our customer as fresh as the day they had been picked and resulted in two amazing fresh hop beers. We plan to extend this capability to more customers and look forward to working with RipeLocker for future harvests.”

RipeLocker’s commitment to preserving the essence of the harvest, combined with the dedication of hop growers and craft breweries, has ushered in a new market of opportunities for the brewing industry. The partnership between RipeLocker, hop growers, and these visionary establishments exemplifies the spirit of collaboration and ingenuity that defines the future of the craft beer landscape.

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