This year, the United States has grown more hops than any other in history.
Since 2012, hop production in the U.S. has increased by 50 percent with a majority of production coming from the Pacific Northwest, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“This year’s crop was some of the best hops that I’ve ever seen,” Bill Elkins, an account manager with Hopsteiner, a hops firm, told Brewbound. “The aromas were wonderful. And we didn’t have any shortages.”
Due to the growth of the craft brew industry with almost 5,000 craft breweries in the country, most of the hops produced are proprietary hops.
This is also the second year in a row that the U.S. has planted more hops (52,962 acres) than Germany (45,957 acres), according to Hopsteiner. Most of those have already been purchased by brewers.
Elkins told Brewbound that the factors that influenced such a successful hop-growing season were favorable climate, cooperative weather, and no shortages of specific hop varieties.
In addition to increasing production of current hops, Hopsteiner is experimenting with two new varieties: Creamsicle and “big berry bomb,” which tastes like strawberry jam and red licorice.