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Going Nuts

HazelnutHarvest23_forweb.The noises coming out of the hazelnut orchard told us something was up. As we walked over to investigate, we realized what we were hearing was the sound of hazelnuts falling to the orchard floor.

Of all the crops we grow, hazelnuts are unique. If we want to know when our hops are ready to pick, we break open the cones, sniff them and run dry matter tests. For our malting barley we bite into the kernels and test for moisture. But when our hazelnuts are ripe they drop from the trees.

Mother Nature was telling it was time to begin the Rogue Farms hazelnut harvest. A new journey from ground to glass.

Harvesting begins when at least 61% of the nuts have fallen. Sweepers wind their way through the trees, sweeping the nuts into long rows called windrows.

hazelnut harvest collage

Followed by harvesters which pick the nuts off the ground…


…and using a series of chains and fans, remove most of the dirt, debris and blanks (empty shells). All that’s left are clean hazelnuts.


Before they leave the farm, the hazelnuts are washed and dried until they reach a moisture level of 9.5%.

hazelnut harvest collage 2

Then they’re bagged and ready to go.


The terroir of the Willamette Valley of Oregon is the best in the world for hazelnuts. More than 99% of the hazelnuts in the United States are grown within a short drive of Rogue Farms in Independence. The hazelnuts we use to distill Hazelnut Spice Rum – and brew Hazelnut Brown Nectar – come from our neighbors.

Rogue Farms is dedicating to growing a proprietary palate of flavors of known origin – made in collaboration with Mother Nature. You can taste the difference in every bottle of Rogue Ales and Spirits.

Fall is a beautiful time to visit Rogue Farms. Please join us as we wind down the harvest season. Come see how we grow beer and spirits!

Dare Risk Dream_web

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Awesome to see how the Hazelnut Brown Nectar that I enjoy so much gets it start. I truly enjoy learning from this blog.

    October 2, 2013
  2. Hmm, when I lived in Oregon I always heard that 98% of US hazelnuts came from Washington County. As kids we could earn good money in a short time picking-up the nuts. We had to sort the empty shells as went though.

    February 1, 2014
    • Hi Michael,

      Hazelnut growing has changed a lot in Oregon since you were picking them as a kid. Starting in the late 1970’s hazelnut production grew dramatically in the state, doubling, then tripling and quadrupling in about ten years. Growing spread throughout the Willamette Valley. In 2012, these were the top five hazelnut counties in Oregon.

      1: Yamill
      2: Lane
      3: Marion
      4: Washington
      5: Linn

      Rogue Farms

      February 1, 2014

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