Can Craft Beer Truly Express a Sense of Place?

 

It’s April in the sleepy town of Independence, Oregon, an hour’s drive south of Portland. On a 42-acre plot just east of town, the alluvial, burnt umber soil sops from the afternoon’s passing downpours. This moment between squalls is the only time to run from the rackety farmhouse café out to the hopyards. There, entangled within the detritus of last year’s harvest, is a first look at the tiny, finger-length hop plants emerging from the earth and signaling a new season for Oregon beer.

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