So I (And most of my class in the Brewmaster program at Olds) went down to Yakima for a 'school trip' which I must say was the best school trip I've certainly ever taken. It felt more like an educational pub crawl. We stopped along the way at a fantastic array of breweries, a cidery, a winery, a couple of distillery's and some hop farms / processing plants.
I found the trip to be eye opening as to how much I want to be in this industry, and really gets me excited for the course. Everywhere we visited we met friendly and genuine people. Thanks everyone that hosted us!
I've been in the course now for only about a week, and already feel I've learnt so much information I never even imagined I'd need to know. I'm amazed at the layout, climate and area of the world that hops thrive in. The process of picking the hops and removing them from their bines. And the way they are then dried and either used as whole cones, or pelletized into a much less perishable medium - or even in some cases used as hop extracts.
I'll post a few images of the trip below with some explanations of where and when they were taken for context.