Firestone Walker releases new short film, ‘Hop Dreams’
Film is a journey into hop farming and the future of flavor in the Pacific Northwest
– Firestone Walker this week released “Hop Dreams,” a short film that explores the art of hop farming in Washington’s Yakima Valley—all from the vantage of the 2021 hop harvest that culminated in the creation of the brewery’s Hopnosis IPA.
The film follows Brewmaster Matt Brynildson, Propagator Brewing Manager Sam Tierney, and Raw Materials Manager Tim Miller as they make their annual pilgrimage to Yakima Valley to source the next hops for Firestone Walker. Along the way, the film showcases the people, heritage, and innovations that drive one of the world’s most important and prolific hop-growing regions.
“The bottom line is: no farmers, no beer,” Brynildson says in the film. “We have nothing but high regard and praise for these people who work so hard for our beers.”
Over the years, Brynildson has formed friendships and connections with a variety of Yakima Valley growers who are setting the pace for new-age IPA hops. As he notes, “We come to Yakima every year so that we can see what’s coming down the pipe, and it’s the catalyst for all of this new, interesting, and exciting stuff happening in beer and hops…Sometimes we’ll come out here, and we’ll rub and smell a hop, and it just sparks an idea.”
In fact, it was precisely this hop harvest journey to Yakima Valley that inspired Hopnosis, the West Coast IPA that Firestone Walker launched earlier this year.
“Hop Dreams” features growers such as Graham Gamache of Cornerstone Ranches, a fifth-generation farm that produces the Cashmere hops featured in notable Firestone Walker IPAs, including Hopnosis and Mind Haze. The film also follows Director of Brewing Innovation Blaze Ruud as he explains the groundbreaking qualities of Yakima Chief’s Mosaic Cryo Hops, which are made by collecting the concentrated lupulin from whole-leaf hops.
“Hop Dreams” ultimately reveals how these relationships with some of the world’s top hop growers are Firestone Walker’s secret ingredient behind beers like Hopnosis—from soil to sunlight, conception to reality, raw material to liquid magic.
“Hopnosis is all of these things in one can of beer,” Brynildson says. “It’s the nomadic exploration, the passion, the search, the innovation and dedication of each and every person who lives for beer.”