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How We Clone Hops At Rogue Farms

A lot of what we know about cloning comes from news or science fiction. So let’s be clear about one thing. We’re not talking about that kind of cloning.

The way we clone at Rogue Farms is so simple that all it takes is a sharp knife.

Splitting hop rhizomes, a centuries old cloning technique, takes place each spring at Rogue Farms.

Splitting hop rhizomes, a centuries old cloning technique, takes place each spring at Rogue Farms.

For centuries, farmers and gardeners have used a technique called vegetative cloning to propagate plants. We grow irises from rhizomes, daffodils from bulbs, potatoes from tubers and apple twigs are grafted from one tree to another. These techniques are so old that we don’t think of them as cloning, but that’s exactly what they are.

At Rogue Farms we clone our hops when we dig up rhizomes from healthy bines, cut them in two, and replant both halves.

Pile Of Rhizomes

By the end of the day we have a big pile of split rhizomes ready for planting.

Why do it this way when we could grow hops from seeds?

Because we want the Revolution hops we plant this spring to be identical to the ones we first planted in 2008. That’s so Rogue Brewmaster John Maier knows exactly what he’s getting when he brews his next batch of beer.

If we grew hops from seeds, the flavors, aromas and bitterness would change from one generation to the next. We’d never be able to guarantee the kind of quality that John has come to expect from a Rogue Farms hop.

Splitting and replanting rhizomes creates consistent quality and a healthy crop that will produce cones for decades.

Spring has officially arrived at Rogue Farms. This year’s crop of hops has emerged and soon we’ll string, stake and train the hopyard. The Prickless marionberries are budding and the 7,140,289 Rogue Farms honeybees will return any day from their winter vacation in California.

Please join us at Rogue Farms for another season of growing beer, spirits, ciders and sodas!


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