Our adventures into the U.S. Hop Industry began in 2007; U.S. and World Hop markets were upside down with fears of crippling shortages. Brewers were running for the hills while entrepreneurs were seeing dollar signs!
This market instability combined with the consistent growth of the Craft Brewing Industry spawned the development of small Commercial Hop Farms, Hobby Hop Farms, Brewery and Backyard Hop Gardens from coast to coast.
Our contribution to this new wave of Hop Farming was the creation of San Juan Hop Farms, in Montrose Colorado. Our 34 acre project was developed with priceless 5th generation Hop Farming and commercial Hop Industry knowledge kindly obtained from gracious and entertaining Idaho, Oregon and Washington Hop farming families. Our visits to their farms in spring, summer and harvest season gave us realistic insight into what it would take to bring this specialty crop to market.
Breaking ground in September of 2008 on 45 acres of alfalfa transforming it into a 34 acre hop yard. 15 acres planted with 4 varieties, Cascade, Chinook, Nugget and Willamette. Unfortunately the economy was upside down as well; capitol to bring the farm to full operating capacity was difficult to obtain. Development of our gravity fed drip irrigation, picking equipment, ambient air temperature drying system, bailing and cold storage continued until funding dried up in late 2010.
So we reluctantly left the farm relocating back to Denver to support family and focus on developing US Hop Source. Over the last seven years we have adapted and followed market changes. The vast supply of hops around the world creates a great market for us. Distributing small and large quantities of hops around the world.
Randall Edward Flores, Randy
Born in January many moons ago during a Midwest ice storm. He grew up living in some beautiful and spectacular places as the son of a landscape architect, his father worked for the National Park Service. As the years past and their Park Service travels ended the family decided Colorado would be their last destination. Randy his two sisters, mom and dad packed up the East Lansing Michigan home in a U-Haul truck and the Ford Falcon station wagon and headed west to Denver in 1969.
The family settled into the Colorado life, Randy picked up on his father’s talents and loved putting pencil, pen and magic marker to paper. Rulers, T-Squares, triangles, the kid had some talent that would lead him into many creative activities throughout his life. After high school a few years off to be a ski bum were in order then he decided to pursue a degree in advertising design. Graduating with a degree in 1982 he applied his talents in the commercial sign industry. One year of apprentice work then he started his own company, twenty three years designing fabricating and installing works of art.
Fast forward to today, Randy like many in this eclectic and laidback industry never knew the school of life would lead them to this place we call craft beer.
Head number cruncher at US Hop Source and company mechanic. After dabbling for a year in the hop growing business directly after high school, Tase chose to take a path that led him to university and away from the hop farm. However always intrigued by the hop industry, after three years he moved back to hops and began streamlining aspects of US Hop Source to better serve the customers and the growth of the business. Today his time is spent making sure things stay in order with the business, raising his first son and generally enjoying life. The first and foremost important aspect is creating great relationships with our customers and continuing to grow our business.
“To achieve anything, you must be prepared to dabble on the boundary of disaster.”