Impact of the program

In 2013, a hop farming family created Ales for ALS™ to raise funds and awareness for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. The program has come a long way since then!
Since 2013 over $5,500,000 has been raised for ALS research at the ALS Therapy Development Institute through Ales for ALS™
Brewers from 47 states and 6 countries have participated, brewing delicious beers while raising awareness of ALS

How Ales for ALS™ started

Ales for ALS™ is an international fundraising campaign. It was created in 2013 by a Yakima Valley hop-farming family to raise funds and awareness for ALS research at the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI). Read their story and learn more about the need for ALS research funding.
A family impacted by ALS

A family impacted by ALS

Cheryl Hanses has nine family members who she knows passed of ALS or are currently battling the disease. Her family has one of the identified mutant genes that causes ALS. Her husband, Mike Smith, is a third generation hop farmer in Yakima, WA; his family has been growing hops as Yakima Chief Hops since 1932. Cheryl and Mike leveraged their connections within the hop-growing and brewing communities to help support their efforts to raise money for ALS TDI.
In 2013 they created Ales for ALS™, a program where participating breweries were offered access to an experimental hop blend, free of charge. In exchange, the breweries would brew a special beer with these hops and donate a portion of their beer sales to ALS TDI.
To read more about the Hanses and Smith families and their efforts to support ALS Research, click here.

About Loftus Ranches

B.T. Loftus Ranches Inc. is one of the Yakima Valley's longest running hop farms. In 1920, the Loftus family moved to Moxee, Washington in pursuit of work on the railroad and began farming a variety of crops and livestock. With the end of the Prohibition era, B.T. and Leota Loftus planted the family's first hop field in 1932. Today, Loftus Ranches is owned and operated by third generation hop growers Mike and Cheryl (Hanses) Smith. The fourth generation of the family to grow hops is represented by their oldest son, Patrick, who joined the business in 2008. Loftus Ranches has ownership in Select Botanicals Group and the Hop Breeding Company. The Ranch raises significant acreage of Simcoe®, Citra®, Palisade®, Mosaic®, Warrior® and Tomahawk® in addition to several experimental hop varieties. Loftus Ranches is one of the largest growers for the craft beer industry, valuing quality, sustainability and innovation. They are dedicated to their craft and look forward to growing varieties that meet the needs of microbrewers for many years to come.
About Loftus Ranches
Yakima Chief Hops

About Yakima Chief Hops

In 2006, Yakima Chief, Inc. and Hopunion LLC combined their respective craft beer business segments in an agreement which allowed Hopunion to focus solely on craft brewing customers, and Yakima Chief on larger global markets. This initial market segmentation created a culture where Hopunion was influenced by independent artisan brewers, while Yakima Chief was impacted by process and the ability to meet customer requirements for compliance with supplier audits and quality criteria.
As craft breweries became larger and more unified in their focus on quality, sustainable practices and consistency of product, demand for both companies began to overlap. The ownership of Hopunion and Yakima Chief commissioned a study in 2013 to research the feasibility of a full business merger and whether or not the resulting new company would be better equipped to serve the entire brewing community.
Inspired by the shared vision of connecting family hop farms with the world's finest brewers, Yakima Chief, Inc. and Hopunion LLC decided to fully combine operations on July 31, 2014. The resulting new company, now known today as Yakima Chief Hops (YCH), is a 100% grower-owned global hop supplier.
“Breweries from all over the world will brew a special beer and $1 per pint sold is donated back to the ALS Therapy Development Institute. We're really trying to find a cure. Not just a treatment, but a cure.”
Meghan Quinn, owner of Bale Breaker Brewing Company and co-founder of Ales for ALS™