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2015 Minister's Award Winner
Clear Valley HOPS - Collingwood, Simcoe County
Premier Wynne, John Craig, Laurie Thatcher-Craig, Minister Jeff Leal
Clear Valley Hops claims to supply the freshest hops in the world, and they go to great lengths to deliver on that promise. As soon as the hops are harvested, they are transferred to a 40-foot-high oast house for low-heat drying, preserving their flavour-rich essential oils. Once the hops are dried, Clear Valley doesn't waste time baling them - instead, they go straight to pelleting. Finally, they are packed in material that blocks harmful oxygen and ultraviolet rays, flushed with nitrogen and flash-frozen. The entire process, from harvest to freezing, takes just 24 hours. Laurie Thatcher-Craig and John Craig have poured more than $1.3 million into their enterprise, but the investment is paying off with numerous long-term brewery contracts. As their customers have discovered, fresher is clearly better.