Check out this installment of The Seattle Times series, “A Hike and a Happy Hour.” THE HIKE: Umtanum Ridge Crest Trail, in the Yakima River Canyon THE BEER: Bale Breaker!
"Welcome to hop heaven. The Yakima Valley produces about three-quarters of the country’s hop harvest. Part hop farm and part brewery, Bale Breaker showcases the region’s prowess. “We specialize in hoppy brews,” said Kevin Smith, head brewer at Bale Breaker. “All of our beers are brewed with hops we’re growing on our farm.” The beers at Bale Breaker were flavorful and fresh. The vibe was mellow. And the afternoon sun bathed the scene in hazy golden light. Can you ask for much more? It doesn’t hurt that the Yakima Valley offers a cornucopia of fresh produce, too.
On the Wednesday when I stopped in, Guerra’s Gourmet Catering was serving seasonal dishes from a classic pickup truck with a wood-fired oven rigged in its bed. Each ingredient was sourced from local farms, said head chef Chris Guerra. “We just see what’s in season,” he said. In early May, Guerra seared local flank steak, thumb-thick asparagus and fresh mushrooms to perfection along with hop shoots he’d plucked from a Bale Breaker hop yard next to the taproom’s lawn. The Guerra family serves food on Wednesdays and Sundays in Bale Breaker’s rotating schedule of food trucks.
Posted May 18, 2017
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