Ryan and Michelle were living in the suburbs of Omaha in 2014 and were trying to get back to their roots; the rural lifestyle. They had some hops growing in their backyard, and decided to make it a commercial venture on some family land near Yankton, SD. The first hops were planted in early 2015 and the farm has been taking off from there. They chose hop varietals that were appropriate with our climate and their alkaline soil base. They planted Chinook, Challenger, Crystal, Neo1, Cashmere, and others to give their farm a nice spread of varieties. In the fall of 2016, 6th Meridian produced the first South Dakota hop pellets.
Currently, 6th Meridian has 5 acres of hops (over 4,000 plants) on their 80 acre field. They will be adding more plants this upcoming year which they hope will almost double their yield. They are currently supplying hops to breweries in South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Colorado, Wyoming, Florida, and even Alaska! Hops aren’t the only thing keeping these two busy. They are opening a food trailer called Counterfeit Curbside based off of Michelle’s Omaha based catering company as well!
Lost Cabin decided to use 6th Meridian’s Chinook hops in our Dakota Common, a silver medal winner at Best of Craft Beer Week in Bend, OR. Their Chinook hops give off it’s typical piney aroma, but has more tropical/pineapple attributes than its Pacific Northwest ancestors.
We couldn’t be more proud of Ryan and Michelle for putting South Dakota on the map for hop production. It couldn’t have happened to better people. Lost Cabin looks forward to continuing doing business with 6th Meridian and other local producers to keep your glasses full and our local economy thriving. So long, and thanks for all the hops.