On Saturday 20th July, I decided to attend the Yosano Hops Picking Event. The day started off cloudy, but soon was filled with the smiles of the other participants as well as our host. We were greeted by the Tourism Chief as well as one of the Hops farmers.
Walking to the fields from the Yosano Vegetable station, everyone was excited for this new experience. At the fields we were greeted by more farmers who came to help us the unknowing visitors. We were shown the row of hops we would be picking from as well as what type of hops to pick. It's all based on texture of the hops flower. The dry "crunchy" feeling hops is what we were looking for. The softer ones we should leave on the vine.
After being suited up with bags we could attach to our waist we set about picking the hops. While some people were invited to use the small lifts to get the higher growing hops. We learnt about the Hops Growers association in Yosano. As well as some information about hop growing. Many photos later we had picked about three crates of hops. And would later be hosted by the Apple farm owners for an all you can eat BBQ and beer tasting. The beer we got to try was a craft brew made by the Spring Valley Brewers using hops from Yosano and wheat from Kameoka. It has a light citrus flavour and very refreshing with BBQ. While sharing BBQ we learned where a lot of the participants came from all over Kansai, and very enthusiastic about craft beer. It was their first time visiting Yosano, and they all seemed to have had a great time, learning about the Hops Growing project as well as sampling the beer made from Yosano Hops.