01/24/2024: 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

via Zoom





CLS Farms and Wenas Hop Company in the Yakima Valley is a pioneer in serving craft beer through innovation in variety, flavor, and quality, and in their ability to forge meaningful relationships with brewers.

As a brewer in eastern Washington State, Varietal Beer Co. has a front row seat to the possibilities of hops as an agricultural product, and in a similar vein, has also led the charge regionally in exploration of malt and barley.

Shelley and Chris bring their unique perspective on how hops growers and processors have seized the opportunity to offer ‘craft ingredients to craft brewers,’ and how to center agriculture in beer making and customer consciousness of ingredients, to kick off the 2024 Craft Malt Guild Educational Program. You’ll hear from them stories of the evolution of hops as an ingredient in craft beer and what lessons can be learned by craft maltsters.

About Our Speakers:  

For over 25 years, Shelley Desmarais has been involved in the hop industry as co-owner of CLS Farms and Wenas Hop Company in the Yakima Valley. Armed with a marketing degree from Central Washington University, she seamlessly blends her marketing expertise with a deep passion for agriculture.

Shelley is dedicated to connecting the hop and beer communities to her farms through transparency, collaboration, and growing the best hops possible. The farms grow over 28 hop varieties, eight certified organic fruit types, and their hops: El Dorado, Zappa, and CLS-X14. CLS Farm’s hands-on approach ensures hops are grown, picked, and harvested to the highest standards for craft brewers.

Shelley passionately advocates for community building, quality production, and the harmonious blending of agriculture with creativity and always looks for inclusion. She believes work done by the whole team at CLS stands as a testament to the possibilities that unfold when family, quality, desire, expertise, and commitment converge in the fertile fields of Yakima Valley.

Chris Baum is President, Co-owner, and Head of Brewing Operations at Varietal Beer Co. He and his partners opened Varietal Beer Co in 2018 in the heart of the Yakima Valley. Its mission is to showcase and celebrate the abundance and outstanding quality of brewing ingredients being produced in the Pacific Northwest, and the family farmers and farmhands who grow them.

Varietal is nestled in the heart of Hop Country and Chris has built lasting friendships within the Hop Growing Community throughout the Yakima Valley and beyond and is proud to work directly with them to showcase their hard work and elevate their brands whenever he can. The brewery is also near the rich barley growing region of The Palouse in Washington’s southeast corner and has developed friendships within the barley growing community there.

Chris’s commitment to quality local ingredients has been rewarded and recognized with a compliment of medals and awards, including two in the Great American Beer Fest. Varietal is a proud member of the Craft Malt Guild, using over 95% Craft Malt in their ever-changing lineup of beers.

Join us for this timely topic!

When: Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Time: 3:00 PM-4:00 PM EST (2:00 PM-3:00 PM CST, 1:00 PM-2:00 PM MST, 12:00 PM-1:00 PM PST) 

Cost: Free for Craft Maltsters Guild members and $30 for non-Guild members

Questions? Please contact, [email protected]