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

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.

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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.”