St. Paul hop farmer receives prestigious award for contributions to trade
St. Paul residents have more to be proud of than just their renowned annual rodeo.
Bill Coleman, a fifth generation hop farmer at local family farm Coleman Agriculture, recently received the International Order of the Hop award for his lifelong contributions to the hop brewing trade. Presented by the International Hop Congress, an organization advocating for hop growers and merchants' interests worldwide, only a few people receive the award every other year.
The accolade was first awarded in the 1300s by John the Fearless, whose ancestors were part of the French royal family. John the Fearless sought to honor individuals "who contributed to the development and prosperity of the 'noble' plant, which is so important for beer production."
"I'm so honored to receive this prestigious award for what has been my lifelong passion," Coleman said. "It is a true privilege to be recognized among an international group of the best hop growers and bring home the 'gold' for all of us in Oregon, the Pacific Northwest and my family at Coleman Agriculture."
To qualify for the award, nominees must be prominent industry hop growers, brewers, teachers or consumers of quality beer. Hop growers submit nominees to the Hop Growers of America Board of Directors for selection.
Coleman's industry career began in 1964. Since then, he served on the Hop Growers of America board, developed his own balers to optimize efficiency and was one of the first people to adopt cooling tunnels in the storeroom to enhance quality and decrease hop drying periods.
Thanks to Coleman, Coleman Agriculture is the largest hops producer in Oregon and seeks to maintain its reputation as an industry innovator with family farm values.
"All of us at Coleman Agriculture are proud to be a part of the industry success and legacy that Bill pioneered," said David Henze, Coleman Agriculture president. "We're known for the quality and diversity of our hops, and we'll continue to cultivate his wisdom to support brewers in creating their best beers."
To learn more about Coleman Agriculture, visit www.colemanag.com.
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