5 Questions with 47Hops

Get to know Douglas MacKinnon, owner of 47Hops in Yakima, WA

In this week's latest installment of our '5 Questions With' feature we're getting to know Douglas MacKinnon, owner of '47Hops' :

  1. Why is the Yakima Valley such a good place to grow hops?  The high desert climate, plentiful water available year round from the Cascade mountains and volcanic soils make the Yakima valley an ideal place to grow hops.The Pacific Northwest is the only place on the planet where you can plant hops in the spring and get a crop in the fall. 
  2. Where do American hops stand in the international market?  American hop growers produce approximately 40% of the world’s total supply of hops.American hops are exported all over the world.With the growth in popularity of craft beer not only in the U.S., but worldwide, the total exports are growing. 
  3. What do you say to people who won’t try hoppy beers because they are afraid of the bitterness?Thankfully, due to the craft revolution, there is a beer for everybody out there.Not everybody has to enjoy hop bombs.Some people like a more balanced beer and barrel aged beers with an even different range of flavors are becoming more popular.If you can’t find a beer you like in today’s world, It’s probably because you just haven’t looked. 
  4. Can/should home brewers use whole hops?  Nearly every brewer these days use pellets, although there are some exceptions to the rule.Whole hop cones are a great part of the art of beer making, but beer making at scale is also part science.When consistency and quality are the name of the game, pellets make it easier to be successful at scale.Pellets are more efficient than whole cones so brewers can fit more beer in the tanks.They’re also more standardized making it easier to follow a recipe without worrying about variation from batch to batch. 
  5. What’s the next trend in hops and beer?  For several years now beers have gotten fruitier and more flavorful.While we don’t think that will change, it seems there is a resurgence back to traditional recipes using heirloom hop varieties.With the market growing as it is, these two distinct flavors will likely develop together side by side in an ever growing craft beer market.



Douglas MacKinnon

  • Doug has quite a bit of experience in the hop world. From 2000 through 2005 he was the Executive Director of Hop Growers of America. From 2005 until 2007, he also was the Chairman of the International Hop Growers Convention Economic Committee and authored the MacKinnon Report, a subscription-based market report about hops.From 2007 until 2012, Doug bought and sold hops internationally as a merchant through the Darba Group. Since the end of 2012, he has been working on 47 Hops as the primary owner of the company, where he's opening up the hop industry & helping people understand how everything really works. Click here to visit 47Hops.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC, its affiliates, or its employees.

Continue the Discussion