The Yakima Valley is known for producing some of the best-tasting fruit in the world. From apples to wine grapes, from cherries to mint, Yakima's rich fertile soil and 300+ days of sunshine add up to agricultural gold.

Yakima is also rightfully known as the Hop Capitol of the world, and where there are hops, mankind's favorite golden nectar - beer - will also be found.

Yakima is Tops When it Comes to Hops

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The Yakima Valley contains approximately 75 percent of the total United States hop acreage, with an average farm size of 450 acres accounting for over 77 percent of the total United States hop crop.

It's no wonder, then, that the Valley is also home to some of the finest craft breweries in the Pacific Northwest. Bale Breaker Brewing, for example, is said to be in the top 5 breweries in the state of Washington, and just so happens to be located smack dab in the middle of a family hop farm that has endured for multiple generations.

Are Hops Indiginous to the Yakima Valley?

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Hops have an interesting history that dates back to ancient times. There's a phrase that I've heard quoted over the years that says 'Beer is proof that God loves us'. If that's true, then it's not a surprise to learn that 9th century Monks are said to have been among the first to use hops in their brew in Western Europe.

Hops likely made a splash in much older brews, perhaps going back thousands of years. We do know that those hops used by prayerful Western European brewers from back in the first millennium eventually made their way with European settlers in the 'new world' here in America.

IPA's Present a Popular 'Hop-Forward' Flavor

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IPAs have become a very popular beer type in the US. Hops are a large reason for that, lending, among other things, bitterness, citrus, and floral notes to the taste.

Hops play an important role in flavor development in various beer varieties from ales, IPAs, stouts, lagers, and more. One excellent way to further explore IPAs and discover your preferences is to enjoy a beer-tasting adventure. Stop in at your favorite taproom, like the one at the aforementioned Bale Breaker Brewing in Moxee, and let them know you'd like to try a flight. Ask questions, get some answers, and quench your thirst.

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LOOK: Best Beers From Every State

To find the best beer in each state and Washington D.C., Stacker analyzed January 2020 data from BeerAdvocate, a website that gathers user scores for beer in real-time. BeerAdvocate makes its determinations by compiling consumer ratings for all 50 states and Washington D.C. and applying a weighted rank to each. The weighted rank pulls the beer toward the list's average based on the number of ratings it has and aims to allow lesser-known beers to increase in rank. Only beers with at least 10 rankings to be considered; we took it a step further to only include beers with at least 100 user rankings in our gallery. Keep reading to find out what the best beer is in each of the 50 states and Washington D.C.

Gallery Credit: Angela Underwood

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