We’re releasing Sesiones Del Migrante Mango IPA, our annual collaboration with Yakima Chief Hops, on Tuesday, May 4th via a special Drive-Thru and on Wednesday, May 5th out of our taproom – it’ll be hitting our wider distribution channels throughout the month of May.
Hard to believe we’ve been doing this for 5 years now. Back in 2017, when Bale Breaker co-owners Kevin Quinn & Kevin Smith traveled to Mexico to brew their first Sesiones Del Migrante beer, it felt like a no-brainer to us to be a part of this project. Now, as we’ve watched it become an embraced and beloved annual tradition by Bale Breaker drinkers and our local community here in Yakima, it’s clear that this project is something special. We hope to continue on with it for many, many years.
Every year, Mexican laborers travel from their hometowns 5,000 miles south of the Pacific Northwest to come to Yakima to harvest hops for breweries across the globe. It’s backbreaking labor – 12-hour days during peak season, in tough conditions. Some hop farms in the area need over 200 people for daily labor throughout the busiest season. There just aren’t enough laborers here in the area to complete our annual hop harvests without these migrant workers.
It’s actually pretty simple: no migrant workers = no hops. No hops = no beer. But back in 2017, when Esteban Silva, of Cervecería de Colima (Colima, Mexico), Alejandro “Alejo” Magallanes of Cerveza Loba (Guadalajara, Mexico), and Victoria Garza, of Yakima Chief Hops met at a tradeshow in Mexico City, they knew that this story was simply not being told in the world of craft brewing. While craft brewers and craft beer fans are known for celebrating the hops that go into their beer (fresh hop season is, after all, the happiest time of year in the industry), the workers who are growing and harvesting these hops year after year are often left out of the conversation. They knew that had to change – and we agreed, so it was an easy collaboration to say yes to back in 2017, along with two California breweries– Ronin Fermentation Project (Truckee, CA) & SouthNorte (San Diego, CA).
Check out this video on the story of Sesiones Del Migrante:
Since 2017, we’ve brewed up our Mango IPA with fresh mango puree and a healthy dry hop of our homegrown hops grown on our family’s hop farm, Loftus Ranches, and harvested by migrant workers every year. We donate 20% of the proceeds of our Mango IPA back to our local migrant community. The goal, beyond raising funds, has always been to educate and inspire beer-drinkers around the world to pause and recognize that the beer they’re enjoying is brewed because of the migrant workers who help harvest and process these hops. So, we hope this year as you’re raising a glass of this slightly hazy, tropical IPA, you’re saying thanks and tipping your hat to the workers who harvested these hops. We truly couldn’t do it without them.
Posted April 30, 2021