Growing the Oregon Hops & Brewing Archives
We're saving the history of brewing and hop farming in Oregon. And we need your help!
In summer 2013, the OSU Libraries & Press’ Special Collections & Archives Research Center established the Oregon Hops & Brewing Archives (OHBA) to save and share the story of hop production and the craft brewing movement in Oregon. We do this by collecting historical materials, conducting oral histories, sharing best practices for maintaining records, and assisting with historical research. And in line with OSU's land-grant mission, this archive focuses on local agricultural, business, and heritage communities, connecting OSU to the much larger story of brewing and hop growing in our region.
And OSU has had a major impact on these industries! With its 120+ years of hops research, scientists in Corvallis battled downy mildew and hop pests, studied drying methods, and released superstar hops like the Cascade and Willamette. We can also boast years of brewing research, a renowned Brewing Sciences program, a continuing education program, and the first hops and brewing archive in the country.
OHBA is a little more than two years old and its funding needs center on staff support and travel, outreach and promotional events, and archival supplies. Expenses are varied, but include
- support for statewide travel to hops farms and craft breweries to assess and collect materials
- support for student assistants who help expand the collections, review records once they are in the archive, and assist with historical research projects
- support for public programming and outreach events, exhibit supplies, and promotional items such as coasters, notecards, and shirts.
We have attracted state, national, and international attention and the archive has been featured in publications as varied as Draft Magazine and Library Journal, on radio programs such as Think Out Loud and Beer Radio, and at events like the OMSI After Dark Brewfest and PSU's Archaeology Roadshow.
We think you'll agree when you look around our state and see all the breweries, healthy hops industry, and community interest directed at hops and craft brewing in Oregon. More than just an excitement for what is happening now, the community of farmers, brewers, enthusiasts, and academic researchers are connecting with their predecessors. At heart this is a community archiving project: we have the opportunity to work with the people who changed the face of an industry and set in motion a movement.
There is still work to be done and your support will help us grow these collections, connect with the communities, and promote the great work at OSU!