For 25 years I have had the good fortune of journeying “home” to be with family in upstate New York during the summer months. It is where I spent my childhood and young adult years.


The slow pace of daily living on Lake George in the Adirondacks completes me. I crave it all winter long. Now, at 47, I watch my two teenage daughters frolic in the lake on humid afternoons with their cousins; work at the local country store; dig in and feel like they’re really living here for a month.

After two years and 100(!) blog postings, Andreana, Shelley and I have gained a wealth of knowledge about Yakima Valley’s resources, particularly our hops, grapes, apples, cherries and stone fruits.

Hand Melon’s Farm Stand in Greenwich, NY

Here in upstate New York, I curiously peruse the produce aisles at Price Chopper, Hanneford, and random fruit stands, searching for Yakima labels. When I talk to people about Yakima Valley, some have heard about it, others can’t believe there is a desert on the east side of our state. I tell them with pride that “we grow your apples, cherries and your hops”!

Yesterday, on a particularly humid afternoon, my father and I headed to downtown Glens Falls for a lunch date, to experience Yakima hops represented at Davidson’s Brewery, the oldest of a handful of cool craft breweries (Common Roots Brewing, Cooper’s Cave Ale Co., Paradox Brewery) popping up over the last few years.

I sampled Davidson’s best-selling IPA and I-87 IPA (both of which are made with 100% Yakima Valley hops) as well as their Ryley Summer Ale. All of them were refreshing and left a familiar toasty after taste, like my favorite, Manny’s on tap back home at the Sports Center.

Steve, the brewer at Davidson Brothers in front of the brewing equipment imported from England.

My Dad, one of my favorite drinking buddies

Wrapping up my final few days on the east coast is always emotional. Living 3,000 miles from family takes its toll at times. I’m comforted knowing that I will be returning home to Yakima at the height of produce season, another thing I crave all winter long!



6 responses to “Live from New York . . . It’s Yakima Valley Hops!

  1. It looks beautiful (and wonderful to see a photo of your pops!) and as always, a wonderful tribute to Yakima.
    Thank you all, for your wonderful blog.

  2. Fun to see Glens Falls and Lake George in “Rooted”!
    I’ll miss you, we are in Montreal for awhile….I think you’ll be gone when I get back. Next time! Great blog!

  3. Aileen, you are not only a gal w-a beautiful smile.. you also are so talented in the line of writing. thank you for this article. am sure our Dad’s NOT gonna dig THIS 1 & only shot of him. nice work, bff.

  4. Seeing the equipment imported from England, reminded me that when we were having dinner last May with friends at the Ship Inn in Rye, East Sussex in the south of England, we saw and inquired about a hand pump labeled, Yakima Ale. We were told that it was a brewery using Yakima hops, they had no idea where or what that was. We were so surprised to see Yakima in England, thought you might like to know too. Love seeing your current musings on Rooted.

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