YCR was started in the late 1980’s as three hop-farming families—the Carpenters, Smiths, and Perrault’s—came together to form a new hop production and research farm in the Yakima Valley under the name Yakima Chief Ranches. The late Charles “Chuck” Zimmerman was the initial breeding program director for YCR, with a directive to develop new hop varieties. Initial breeding results from the program were fruitful, leading to the selection and release of several new hop brands.
Yakima Chief Ranches is proud to work with a diverse group of growers in the Pacific Northwest. To assure hop supply is met for brewers, we continue expand and manage the amount of grower acreage. Beginning in 2011 with the three grower owners, YCR has now expanded across three states- Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Of the 41 farms we work with, there are multigeneration to first-generation operations. Each farm brings unique value to the hop industry, lending knowledge and inspiration to continue growing the finest hops possible.