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It's Time For Brewers to Rethink Colorado Hops: Billy Goat Named Best Cascade Hops In The Country

Updated: May 10

Billy Goat Named Best Cascade Hops In The Country

Audrey Gehlhausen (left) and Chris DellaBianca with the Cascade Cup.

MONTROSE, CO— Billy Goat Hop Farm was just named the first place winner of Hop Quality Group’s 2023 Cascade Cup. This year marks the first time Billy Goat has entered the competition, and the first time that a farm outside of Washington and Oregon has won this prestigious award.

The Cascade Cup is the ultimate challenge for the best Cascade hops in the country. This yearly competition allows growers from all over the United States to showcase their best Cascade crops. A panel composed of brewing professionals in the Hop Quality Group blindly picks a winner based on appearance, aroma, and hop analysis. Cascade was chosen because it is the most widely grown variety and not proprietary, allowing most farmers nationwide to participate.

“Cascade hops have long been an important part of craft brewing,” Spokesperson Matt Gallagher from the Hop Quality Group explains. “For the first time in its history the Cascade Cup is leaving the states of Washington and Oregon and heading to the Rocky Mountain State.”

Billy Goat Hop Farm Founders and Co-Owners Chris DellaBianca and Audrey Gehlhausen were surprised and delighted to receive the Cascade Cup. “We were lucky to be able to attend the Hop Convention last year where we learned that a Cascade Cup even existed. So this year we thought, what the heck let’s send a sample in,” says Gehlhausen. “When Chris told me that we won, I thought he was just trying to fool me. Then Vinnie Cilurzo, the co-founder of Russian River Brewery, called to congratulate us. We’ve been flying high ever since.”

Seventeen brewers across the country have utilized Billy Goat’s award-winning Cascade hops, including Steel Bender Brewyard in Albuquerque that has been the largest purchaser of this variety.

At 32 acres, Billy Goat is able to stay more hands-on in every aspect of farming and processing than the typical 500 plus acre farm. Their smaller size also allows them to catch pests and disease early, dramatically decreasing the need for chemical inputs. Using multiple soil health practices, Billy Goat takes pride in creating a vital living ecosystem that sustains not only plants, but animals and humans too— while also conserving water. 2022 marks Billy Goat’s largest harvest yet with all varieties finally reaching maturity. They stay dedicated to producing all of their varieties with the same high quality care.

Learn more about Billy Goat Hop Farm and their Cascade hops at Media inquiring about Billy Goat Hop Farm and their recent Cascade Cup win can contact Emily Hutto at



Billy Goat Hop Farm is the largest hop farm in the Southwest, providing superior quality fresh, whole cone, and pelletized hops directly to craft brewers. Starting in 2017, they've grown to 32 acres that produce 9 varieties of amazing hops. In 2022, they began sourcing different varieties of whole cone hops from other quality growers, and then processing themselves in order to offer more varieties to their brewers.

Owners and farmers Chris and Audrey pride themselves on creating genuine farmer-brewer relations and bringing true craft into their process. Combining traditional hands-on practices and state-of-the-art technology, they use less water and chemicals which transcends into a healthier ecosystem, soil, and hop plants. Brewers enjoy the bright aroma and subtly unique aroma profile imparted from Colorado's terroir, and the passion poured into every step of the process.

Know your farmer, Love your beer.

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