Oregon has a rich brewing history and the production of world-class hops and craft beer are part of Oregon’s identity. From scholars to people with an interest in local products, students to alumni, hops farmers to brewers, the opportunities for community engagement and scholarly use are vast. Recognizing the need to document the intertwined story of hop production and the craft brewing movement in Oregon, the Special Collections & Archives Research Center at the Oregon State University Libraries and Press established the Oregon Hops & Brewing Archives (OHBA) in 2013 to collect and provide access to records related to Oregon’s hops and craft brewing industries. OSU faculty and students are leaders in these industries. Scientists planted the first hops on campus grounds in 1895, but 76 years later it was OSU’s Dr. Alfred Haunold who made an indelible mark on the industry with the Cascade and other popular modern American hop varieties. Aroma hops breeding research in the College of Agricultural Sciences and the USDA-ARS keep Corvallis on the cutting edge, with programs to continue to breed new varieties to meet new industry needs. On the brewing end, fermentation and sensory sciences have long been a part of research at OSU, but since the establishment of the Fermentation Science program in 1995 and new Professional and Continuing Education classes on Northwest beer and cider for professionals, OSU continues to be a leader in educating and training new brewers. As the first archive in the United States dedicated to saving the story of hops and brewing, OHBA brings together a wealth of materials for people to study and celebrate these movements and this science. OHBA is a collecting initiative, documentary history, and community archiving project that has the potential to cut across the agricultural, scientific, farm labor, and cultural components of hops and brewing history. As the archive for the University, we have strong collections related to the history of hops, brewing, and barley research, but OSU isn’t the only place to find pieces of the story. There are valuable community stories that haven’t been recorded; websites, blogs, and social media sites to be saved; and items in historical societies, breweries, hop farms to be discovered.
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