Oregon’s Willamette Valley is the fertile region responsible for a significant portion of the world’s hops. Crosby Hop Farm is one of the leaders of the industry, a hop farm that not only grows hops but acts as a broker for other farms and a resource for brewers across the world. Last weekend Crosby began a new chapter in the expansion of their brand with the launch of TopWire Hop Project.
TopWire is named for the hanging wires that hop bines can climb up to 30′ feet to reach. Hop Project is a beer garden nestled among the lush green hop cones with hop wires running overhead for the length of the field. It’s a welcome excuse to showcase some of Crosby’s customers projects, and by extension their own hops.
Crosby Hop Farm is off of an nondescript rural road amid homes and farms in Woodburn. But once you see the rows upon rows of hops and Crosby’s looming processing facility off the way, then look for the one-way public entrance to TopWire down a rocky 1/2 mile hop lined lane dubbed “Lupulin Lane.”
Crosby’s hop project is placed in a grassy field walled in only by hops and the repurposed open storage container that makes up the bar. An open green leather booth in the corner of the stylish container bar is the only fully covered area of TopWire, though it does have an awning extension providing some shade over high floating bar seats that look out over the garden.
From 10 draft lines Topwire showcases a carefully selected lineup of a variety of styles from breweries local and across the country. The taplist highlights ways that hops can be used in different beverages from beer to a permanent rotating hopped cider tap and a non-alcoholic hopped seltzer option. If the draft offerings aren’t enough, a beer to-go cooler is stocked up with cans and bottles to-go or for there, and 16oz crowlers are available to be filled with anything on tap to take with you.
Like fresh hop beers, the TopWire beer garden is a seasonably appropriate gathering space that will be open and fresh in an optimal climate. So get there soon, because it’s unlikely the beer garden will be as inviting once the weather shifts and the 18 ft. hop bine walls come down during the harvest. While the garden may not end up being open year-round, their hops will make for some tasty beers, ciders and seltzers to be enjoyed during the downtime.
TopWire Hop Project is all-ages friendly, and leashed dogs are welcomed, no food is served on-site but a local taqueria will deliver orders of $20 or more. Hours are Thursday 11am — 8pm, Friday 11 am — 9 pm, Saturday 11 am — 9 pm and Sunday 11 am — 8 pm. Location: 8668 Crosby Rd NE Woodburn, OR 97071
Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding.