Yakima Chief Ranches (YCR) is an integrated crop management company that specializes in breeding new hop varieties for the global brewing industry. YCR exists to create and sustain value in the hop market— from the family farm to the drinkers of great beer worldwide. The company was started in the late 1980’s as three hop-farming families, the Carpenters, Smiths, and Perraults, came together to form a new hop production and research farm in the Yakima Valley under the name Yakima Chief Ranches. The late Charles “Chuck” Zimmerman was the initial breeding program director for Yakima Chief Ranches, with a directive to develop new hop varieties. Initial breeding results from the program were fruitful, leading to the selection and release of several new hop brands.
The YCR breeding program joined forces with the John I. Haas, Inc. breeding program to form Hop Breeding Company (HBC) in 2003. HBC’s mission is to develop pest-resistant and disease-resistant hop brands with strong commercial qualities. This hop breeding powerhouse takes advantage of the combined resources of both companies through full integration of breeding efforts. All brands from the breeding program are released jointly.