Who We Are
The origins of Glacier Hops Ranch began quietly, as the first commercial research Hopyard in Montana, established to test over 40 varieties of hops for aroma, yield and vigor at a latitude equal to Germany’s established hop-growing region. We now work with multiple other growers in our scenic mountain valley to produce robust Montana-grown hops, as well as hop-related ingredients.
We have since grown to become a global broker of premium hops sourced direct from established farms and warehouses here in the USA as well as from Germany, New Zealand, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Great Britain. Rather than rely solely on what we grow or have in our warehouse, we are able to offer single-sourcing of most any requested varieties at competitive prices for our customers.
Glacier Hops Ranch is also the sole global producer of Hopzoil™. In 2015 we began researching the excess capacity of numerous steam distilleries in the Flathead Valley and began producing a fresh-hop, steam-distilled pure essential oil through a proprietary process that captures the freshness of hops in the field at the peak of ripeness. Hopzoil™ allows brewers and cidermakers the ability to take those full-strength, pure volatile oils that are often lost in the drying process, and put the fresh hop aroma and taste into the finished beverage before packaging.
Founder Tom Britz and partner Bart Slaney bring decades of experience in complimentary fields and they have assembled a team of professionals ranging from research to brewing, logistics, sales and marketing to service customers from around the globe.
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Meet the Team
Tom’s career background has been primarily in marketing and business development, and he became the visionary behind what is now Glacier Hops Ranch.
Tom held senior marketing positions in the ski resort industry in both Michigan and Colorado, and he served on numerous regional and national Boards during his tenure in the ski industry.
In 2015, Tom was elected as the historic, first-ever national At-Large Director of the Hop Growers of America (HGA) and was subsequently appointed as National Chairman of the HGA’s Small Grower Council, which oversaw the development of Enterprise Cost Studies and Best Practices for small hop growers during his tenure.
Tom and his wife Annie were nationally ranked in the cow horse sports of Team Penning and Ranch Sorting, but now most of Tom’s involvement is an occasional trail ride in the forest around the hop farm.
Growing up on a farm in South Dakota, Bart is an exceptional mechanic and fabricator, Bart keeps all the equipment running at GHR, and helps with the construction and design of all facilities. Selected to be part of the USA Hops Brau Beviale delegation in Germany, Bart’s relationships have allowed GHR to adopt Best Practices and fabricate custom hop cultivation and harvesting equipment.
Bart rodeo’d his way through college as a team roper and calf roper, and has continued his equine pursuits recently winning a World Skijoring Championship trophy buckle.
With a combined background as CEO of an herbal extracts company, as a chemist/microbiologist and his years of experience as a brewer, Todd is an immense asset to the GHR team.
Former CEO of Mountain Meadow Herbs, Todd oversaw and actively participated in the expansion of this nutraceutical company over a five-year period.Beginning with developing their QC Laboratory, Todd developed, improved, or initiated standards, processes, and controls for manufacturing, and oversaw and tested the quality of their products. All these skills are critical QC components for delivering Hopzoil to GHR’s customers.
However, Todd’s first love is as a brewer, bringing nearly 14 years of commercial brewing experience in both Minnesota and Montana. Todd is the team’s Technical Brewing Advisor and is GHR’s R&D brewer, developing Hopzoil recipes and assisting customers on technical issues.
Todd has a BS degree in Chemistry from Colorado State University. He was a researcher at the University of Minnesota’s Department of, before stints at two laboratories in Minnesota, the second of which he co-owned.
Although he grew up with the daily rigors of a dairy farm in Southern Minnesota, since 2008 Todd has been able to call Montana home.
Big Sky Orchards
Mitch and Annie Jones grow Centennial, Saaz and Ahhhroma™ hops in their Bigfork, Montana hopyard, under the centralized processing umbrella of Glacier Hops Ranch. Big Sky Orchards also grows cherries at two orchards overlooking scenic Flathead Lake. Taking a modernized approach to sweet cherry cultivation, the Jones are making these specialty crops a family affair with daughter Maddie and son Zach part of the operation.
The first Affiliated Grower under Glacier Hops Ranch’s centralized processing umbrella, Randy and Leslie Scott grow Cascade, Ahhhroma™ and Centennial on their hop farm on the outskirts of Whitefish, Montana. Hops are a family affair with sons Dave and Kevin actively involved with their families (and a special nod to their friends) in spring preparation, fall harvest activities, as well as enjoying the fruits of their labor.