These days it seems every opinion is controversial and almost every word in the English language can incite vitriol, but beer has the ability to bridge gaps and cross borders. If nothing else, beer is a neutral party that encourages us to slow down and think about things a bit more deeply.
That said, the hops beer lovers crave in their beers would rot in the fields without the migrant workers who cross the border, travel to the Northwest and bring in the hop harvest each year. One hop farmer told me that last year his farm brought in 122 guest workers (legal guest workers) from Mexico to handle the vast majority of the work at harvest time. Long days, usually up to 12 hours a day, and hard work. That’s just one story from one farm. There are dozens of hop farms in the Yakima Valley and across the Pacific Northwest with similar stories.
For the second year, Bale Breaker Brewing collaborated with two Mexican breweries and two U.S. breweries to create a beer that celebrates the migrant workers who cross the border and travel to the Yakima Valley to harvest the hops used by breweries around the world.
On Thursday, July 19th Bale Breaker Brewing releases Sesiones del Migrante Mango IPA, marking the occasion with a party at the brewery and taproom near Yakima.
Perhaps no brewery is more keenly aware of the role Latino workers play in the hop industry than Bale Breaker Brewing. Two of the brewery’s three owners grew up on a hop farm and have firsthand knowledge of the importance of the migrant workforce.
“We’re happy that this brewing collaboration will create awareness of the hard work of Yakima’s Latino community,” said Meghann Quinn, owner/business manager at Bale Breaker. “Their work both during harvest and year-round is essential to creating the hoppy beers everyone loves. We look forward to this partnership continuing into the future.”
This is the second year for the Sesiones del Migrante brewing partnership, which spans 5,000 miles and involves five breweries in two countries. The project partners include Bale Breaker Brewing (Yakima, WA), Cerveza Loba (Guadalajara, Mexico), Cervecería de Colima (Colima, Mexico), Ronin Fermentation Project (Truckee, CA), and SouthNorte Beer Company (San Diego, CA).
Bale Breaker Brewing releases Sesiones del Migrante Mango IPA July 19, 2018 in kegs and six-packs throughout its distribution footprint in Washington, Northwest Oregon, and North Idaho. The beer clocks in at 5.4% ABV and 50 IBU and will be available throughout the summer. A portion of proceeds will benefit La Casa Hogar, a Yakima-based non-profit organization that connects and educates immigrant families.
Sesiones del Migrante Release Party
Thursday, July 19, 3:00 – 9:00.
Bale Breaker Brewing Co
1801 Birchfield Rd