Craft Beer Boom Driving U.S. Hop Acres To New Heights

The Hop Growers of America (HGA) is reporting the fifth-straight year of growth in U.S. hop production, up 18.5% nationally, for a total of 8,303 new acres. This growth is due in part to the increase in the craft beer industry.

The Pacific Northwest is home to the largest amount of hop growers, making up 96% of the U.S. crop on 51,115 acres. Hop acres in that region are up 17% this year, planting 7,482 acres. Yakima Valley in Washington leads the country in production, with 36,475 acres planted – or about 70% of the national production.

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The U.S. produces 40% of the global hop supply, on 53,213 total acres strung for harvest in the U.S. Michigan is the second-largest region with has 650 acres currently in production, with the rest of the country increasing acreage by 64%, with 26 states growing on 2,098 acres. This national growth is coming after a 15.4% increase in acres harvested in 2015, a 10.2% increase in 2014, a 10.3% increase in 2013, and a 7.2% increase in 2012.

‘Cascade’ hops leads the country with 7,371 acres, with ‘Centennial’ logging 5,009 acres according to the USDA-NASS report.

The USDA’s NASS Annual March report, estimates a record 91.8 million pounds for growers in the Northwest, which is a 16% jump from last year. This report estimates an additional 13 million pounds of hops incoming, and 10% increase of hops in storage.

According to the USDA-NASS report, “many baby yards in Washington and Idaho are exceptional, with production between 50% and 100% of mature yields expected.”

A hot April fueled this boost says the report which, “encouraged substantial pre-training growth, and may result in some alpha varieties yielding below average. Temperatures were more normal in June and July. Water supplies are adequate.”

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