Double R Ranches & Yakima Chief Hops: A Citra Story

Double R Ranches & Yakima Chief Hops: A Citra Story

Posted by Winslow Sawyer

1 month ago | April 16, 2024

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes, 7 seconds

Using beer as a force for good doesn’t begin with the Pure Project beer in your glass—it starts with the raw ingredients. We take pride in our dedication to sustainability throughout the entire brewing process and choose to work with partners who share these values. Citra Cryo grown by Double R Ranches and processed by the collective Yakima Chief Hops, beautifully illustrates this dedication to sustainability and partnership.  

Double R Ranches

Double R Ranches in Yakima, Washington

Yakima Chief Hops (YCH), a 100% grower-owned global hop supplier based in Yakima, Washington, has been our main source for United States-grown hops since 2019. Our love for using Pacific Northwest hops in our beers grows more every year, and so does our appreciation for the amazing work the farms are doing to produce high-quality hops with a focus on sustainability and biodiversity.

A shining example of this commitment can be found in Citra Spree, our murky IPA that showcases hops sourced from two esteemed Washington YCH hop farms: Citra hops from Tributary Hop Farms, and Citra Cryo hops from Double R Hop Ranches. Let’s dive into this Citra Cryo—where it comes from and what makes it an earth-friendly—and delicious—choice. 



Double R Ranches is a five-generation family farm in Yakima, Washington. The Riel family’s involvement in agriculture started in the 1840s, when first-generation farmer Wilfred A. Riel leased property on the Yakima Reservation and began growing potatoes. In 1945, the family started growing hops alongside potatoes, and Double R Hop Ranches was born.

Wilfred’s sons, Jerome and Leonard, ran the farm for many years, and today, Double R Ranches is owned and operated by grandsons Kevin, Keith, and Steve Riel, and great-granddaughter, Jessica Riel.

Double R Ranches’ crop portfolio has diversified even greater over the years, and while the farm has produced many varieties of apples, Concord grapes, and more, their main focus has been on beer’s favorite ingredient: hops!


Pollinator Habitatdouble r ranches’ focus on biodiversity

We were drawn to work with Double R Ranches for a few reasons: their hops are Global G.A.P Certified, and their farm-wide dedication to biodiversity. In 2022, they partnered with the Xerces Society to plant a pollinator habitat next to their hops based on the needs of the local area. This pollinator habitat features a combination of native perennial and annual plants that flower at different stages (to ensure there is always something of interest to pollinator friends). In addition, the farm avoids using certain types of plant protectors that would harm these bees and other pollinators, and because of this pollinator habitat, Double R Ranches has seen an uptick in beneficial insects and birds around their fields.

The Citra Cryo used to make Citra Spree came from this pollinating block at Double R Ranches, and we are thrilled to see the hops providing environmental benefits for these earth-essential pollinators.


You may have noticed the increased use of cryo hops from Yakima Chief in our beers, and it’s for good reason! Cryo hops are the super concentrated, oil-rich hop products of their off-the-bine hop counterparts. They provide the beer with a fuller hop flavor with less ingredients needed, and beyond that, they’re a more sustainable choice when it comes to transportation.



Hops dryingOnce the hops are grown, dried down to the right moisture, and put into bails at the farm, they make their way to Yakima Chief Hops for the cryo process to take place. Our friends at YCH have worked their wizardry and developed a proprietary, super cool (pun intended) cryogenic hop-processing technology that separates whole cone hops into two components—concentrated lupulin and bract.

In Yakima Chief Hops’ process, they freeze a whole cone hop with liquid nitrogen and shatter it so it is easier to separate. The result is Cryo Hops: the concentrated lupulin of whole-leaf hops. The nitrogen from this freezing process is recaptured for future use, and the remaining bract is also used for their American Noble Hops—how cool is that?


Cryo CO2 Comparison

Shipping cryo hops would result in almost half of the carbon emissions as compared to the flavor equivalent of its T-90 counterpart.


Since the cryo hops are more concentrated, you don’t need nearly as much as regular hops to reach the desired outcome when making beer. This factor trickles through the entire shipping process, calling for less packaging, less energy needed during transport, less CO2 exerted via transporting the hops, and more.

In fact, shipping cryo hops would result in almost half of the carbon emissions as compared to the flavor equivalent of its T-90 counterpart.

Using cryo hops in our beer is not only an ideal choice for us taste-wise but also the clear choice when it comes to lessening the environmental impact.

Citra Spreecitra spree: our citra-filled brew

Citra Spree, our new murky IPA featuring Citra and Citra Cryo hops, will be available in all Pure Project taprooms and online for California shipping starting April 18, 2024. Get this one before it’s gone, and taste the difference of using ingredients that are better for the planet, from farms working to protect the planet.

Not local? Check out our online beer locator to see where you can find Pure beer near you. If you’re looking for Citra Spree or another specific beer, we recommend calling the establishment before you go to make sure they have it!

P.S. Be sure to follow Double R Ranches & Yakima Chief Hops on Instagram to keep up with the incredible work they’re doing.



Images courtesy of Double R Ranches & Yakima Chief Hops

Filed Under: Education Ingredients