7th annual Michigan Chinook Cup Competition

Michigan hop growers should submit hop samples by Dec. 15, 2023.

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It is time for Michigan hop growers to send in your samples for the 2024 Michigan Chinook Cup competition. New this year, the competition is open to both Hop Growers of Michigan members who grow more than 1 acre of hops, and non-members who grow more than 2 acres of hops.

Modeled after the national Cascade Cup, the Michigan Chinook Cup is awarded to the Great Beer State’s best Chinook hop grower as determined by a panel of expert craft brewers and hop producers through a series of blind tests. The samples are judged based on aroma, appearance and analytical test results.

Why Michigan Chinook hops?

The Chinook hop, released in 1985, is the result of a cross between Petham Golding and a United States Department of Agriculture male plant. Chinook are a dual-purpose hop used for both bittering and aroma. In contrast to Chinook grown in the Pacific Northwest that is generally known for its piney, spicy, dank attributes, Michigan Chinook is a cultivar that is increasingly recognized for its citrusy, clean profile. 

Submission process

Bell’s Brewery has once again generously volunteered to assist Hop Growers of Michigan with the event by collecting the samples at their facility. One sample is allowed per participating entity. The sample should be one 1 pound of hops grown during the 2023 growing season. The sample can be either a “Brewers Cut” from a compressed bale of hop cones or loose fill cones in a sealed bag of your choosing, which protects the contents from air and light. A certificate of analysis (COA) from an accredited laboratory documenting alpha and beta acids, total oils and hop storage index (either ASBC-12 or 14) for the post-harvest hops represented in the sample should be included with the submission.

Once received, hop samples will be appropriately stored in cold storage in a secure location at Bell’s Brewery. Samples will be transported to the Michigan’s Great Beer State Conference and Trade Show prior to the judging. All samples will be assigned a random control number for the competition and submissions will be blindly judged by a panel of experienced brewers. Winners for the Chinook Cup will be determined based on appearance, aroma and hop analysis. Awards will be presented during the Thursday night (Jan. 11) conference reception.

The entry fee to cover trophies and other expenses related to the competition will be $20 for Hop Growers of Michigan members and $100 for non-members. Checks should be made payable to Hop Growers of Michigan.

Hops need to be received at the Bell’s facility by Dec. 15, 2023. The sample, certificate of analysis and submission fee should be sent to:

Attn: Bonnie Steinman/Chinook Cup
Bell’s Brewery
8938 Krum Avenue
Galesburg, MI 49053 

Download Entry Form

Please direct any questions to secretary@hopgrowersofmichigan.org.

Past winners

  • 2023: 1st Dog Star Hops, 2nd Top Hops Farm, 3rd Bell’s Brewery Estate Hopyard
  • 2022: 1st Dog Star Hops, 2nd Elk River Hops, 3rd Top Hops Farm
  • 2021: Cancelled due to COVID-19
  • 2020: 1st MI Local Hops, 2nd Egypt Valley Hopyards, 3rd Hop Head Farms
  • 2019: 1st Top Hops Farm, 2nd Egypt Valley Hopyards, 3rd High Five Hop Farm
  • 2018: 1st Top Hops Farm, 2nd MI Local Hops, 3rd Green Heron Hops
  • 2017: 1st MI Local Hops, 2nd Empire Hop Farm, 3rd Top Hops Farm

For more information on hop production practices, please sign up for the Michigan State University Extension Hop & Barley Production Newsletter, and continue to visit MSU Extension’s Hops website or the MSU Hops News Facebook.

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