2018 hop numbers

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by beertunes, Nov 30, 2018.

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  1. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (5,682) Sep 24, 2007 Washington
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    The November/December issue of New Brewer magazine (house organ for the Brewers Association) is out and features the 2018 hop report. There were just under 58,000 acres of hops grown in the U.S. this year (for comparison, in 2012 there were just under 30k acres). Over 55k of those acres were in WA, OR, and ID. Michigan was the 4th largest producer, with, Nebraska and some other midwestern states also increasing in acreage. Washington's Yakima Valley has almost 70% of the U.S. hop acreage. This makes the U.S. the worlds largest hop growing country (Gemany is second with just under 50k acres). Combined, Germany and the U.S. produce almost 80% of the worlds hops.

    Citra was the leader for most acreage, with Cascade and Centennial following. Zeus, Simcoe, Chinook, Mosaic, Columbus, Amarillo, and Pahto round out the top 10. There are now over 60 varieties of hops commercially available, where there only about a dozen 10 years ago.
     
  2. stevepat

    stevepat Devotee (408) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    sounds good to me. Does anyone have any idea why california grows so little hops? Seems likely that there are plenty of places that could be productive in this endeavor in the state.
     
  3. Lahey

    Lahey Disciple (386) Nov 12, 2016 Michigan

    Because weed has a higher profit margin:money_mouth:

    (I assume california is border to border weed fields)
     
  4. Lahey

    Lahey Disciple (386) Nov 12, 2016 Michigan

    Just as I imagined:wink:
     
  5. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,361) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    California was a major hop growing state by the 1880 - 1890s (behind only NY and WA) and as late as the early 1940's it was still the #3 hop growing state (behind Oregon and Washington). The only thing I've ever read was that, by the 1960s, it was no longer "economically feasible" (probably 'cause better cash crops took their place).

    EDIT - Checking other sources, looks like California moved into the #2 spot by the mid-40s (Downey mildew attack hit Oregon hard) with CA's hop acreage peaking in 1951 at 9,500 acres.

    Both Rainier Brewing Co. (the San Francisco based one, not the Seattle brewery) and Grace Bros. Brewing Co. in Santa Rosa operated their own hop ranches in California in the post-Repeal era.
     
    #5 jesskidden, Dec 1, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
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  6. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (5,682) Sep 24, 2007 Washington
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    Maybe the climate isn't quite conducive? Maybe where the climate is conducive, there isn't the irrigation available given all fights over water rights down there? Maybe farmers choose to grow crops that turn a better, or at least a more consistent, profit? I don't really know.
     
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  7. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,656) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
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    Completely over my head I suppose, but both WA and Ca are both tremendous wine producers I'm thinking the wine region climates would be quite similar. Of course Cali is very diverse and very large. I'm supposing it's money, pot is more profitable than hops I'm sure, but WA is legal too and they grow hops out the ass. Could be irrigation, I don't know how demanding hops are to grow, pot I'm sure is labor intensive. So, I don't really know either, but next time I'm in WA I'm getting some special gummies. .
     
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  8. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (5,682) Sep 24, 2007 Washington
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    Most of the legal pot grow ops are quite small, a few acres. A friend of mine has one, and except for harvest, it's only a couple person operation. They have to be entirely fenced and secured, per WA law, and I think there's a maximum size too, but I'm not really sure. One of the reasons the Yakima Valley grows so many hops is they have plenty of water for irrigation.
     
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  9. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,656) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
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    Nice a friend in the business, I'll have an ounce of Acapulco Gold please.
     
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  10. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,361) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    [CONT] Further digging into it, California was running neck and neck with Washington for a lot of the first half of the 20th century - as can be seen in the names of some hops available the year of Repeal, 1933:

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. readyski

    readyski Aspirant (231) Jun 4, 2005 California
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    Nope I think you're right. It sure seems like border to border vineyards - coastal valleys, central valley and foothills. Seems like they're everywhere (esp here in NorCal). Who drinks all this, certainly no one on this site? :wink:
     
  12. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (5,682) Sep 24, 2007 Washington
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    The stuff they grow would put the old-school Acapulco gold to shame. And ounces? That would cost in the hundreds of dollars. In the stores they sell grams (depending on percentages of strength) from $10 and up per gram.
     
  13. NickSMpls

    NickSMpls Meyvn (1,061) Nov 11, 2012 Washington
    Premium Trader

    Interesting stuff. We visited Yakima last summer (with a stop at Bale Breakers of course...well, actually two) and it was wall to wall hops and where there aren't hops there are cherry and other fruit orchards. Everything is irrigated since Yakima in a desert.

    One would draw the conclusion that hops like that climate along with lots of water.

    Now, I wonder about Germany. There's no place I've been that even remotely resembles the Yakima area. I haven't researched in there is a concentration of hop growing areas. If anybody can comment, please do.

    Anyway, back to more (hoppy) goodness on a rainy Friday night.
     
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  14. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,390) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    The hop growing areas just south of SF and near Sacramento were replaced by a crop known as suburbia. Much more profitable. Source was the Barth Haas Hop At Las.

    There were hops in Sonoma county, and Hopland in Mendicino County. They couldn't compete with Yakima WA, and wine is now the crop in that area. I have been to Hopkiln winery, the tasting room is in the old hopkilns.
     
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  15. Steve_Studnuts

    Steve_Studnuts Aspirant (265) Apr 21, 2015 Pennsylvania

    A good question.

    A good answer.
     
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  16. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,390) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Yakima is ideal as it has fertile soil, abundant sunshine with long summer daylight, and they drip irrigate from the Yakima river that is fed by snowmelt from the Cascade mountains.

    There are several hop growing areas in Germany. The Hallertau between Munich and IngolstsdI is the largest. The climate is typically similar to the Wilamette Valley in OR. Milder with more rain. They don't drip irrigate much there. Hot dry summers of late have had a negative impact on the crop.

    Edit - Bale Breaker is outstanding.
     
    #16 hopfenunmaltz, Dec 1, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
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  17. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Poo-Bah (1,525) Sep 15, 2014 New York

    Good to know. One of my biggest fears is having a world-wide hop shortage. :grimacing:
     
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  18. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,361) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Yeah. Below - circa 1950 map of CA's hop growing areas.
    [​IMG]
    According to a 1966 article on the history of the town of Hopland, at that time the hop fields had been replaced "...pears, walnuts, prunes and grapes..." in the late '50s.

    Looks like California was the top US hop state in the early years of Prohibition.
    [​IMG]
     
    #18 jesskidden, Dec 1, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
  19. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,390) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    My concern would be barley.
     
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  20. stevepat

    stevepat Devotee (408) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    suburbia is the crop that I had forgotten about. In any case I certainly see room for growth in the hop fields of a number of states.
     
  21. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (5,682) Sep 24, 2007 Washington
    Trader

    The same issue has the barley report, I'll check it later, and get back to you.
     
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  22. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,390) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    I have already read the Barley report.
     
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  23. NickSMpls

    NickSMpls Meyvn (1,061) Nov 11, 2012 Washington
    Premium Trader

    Thanks for the info on Germany's hop growing areas. I agree the Willamette Valley climate is similar, but it does get warm in the summer.
     
  24. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,390) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    They had something around 4 hot summers in a row in Germany. I was in Bavaria in August, it was about 98F for days.

    Edit They don't drip irrigate much in Germany. The average farm is about 30 acres. Many in Yakima are 1000 acres or more, which is a difference.
     
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  25. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,759) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    Dale, you are so out of touch!:grin:

    Me too by the way.:flushed:

    Cheers!
     
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  26. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,759) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    Lots of interesting discussion about hop farm history/geography. I figured some folks would be interested in reading this article from 1902 that is on the @jesskidden website.

    Some interesting snippets from the article:

    “Of the 55,000 acres which grow hops in the country 7.500 are in California…”

    That value of 55,000 in 1902 is not too far from today’s figure of just under 58,000 acres although I suspect that the productivity of today’s hop farms are greater with a larger yield of hops (i.e., as measured by pounds).

    Also:

    “California has the doubtful distinction of owning the largest single hop farm of 365 acres at Pleasanton…”

    I wonder if all of those acres are now covered by tract homes?

    Cheers!
     
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  27. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,656) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
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    No shit right, lol. Is it still cool to make brownies? I'd like some gummies , I could eat them at work and no one would ever know.
     
  28. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,759) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    They might pick up on things when they see you scarf down three burritos in a row!?!:stuck_out_tongue:

    Cheers!
     
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  29. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,656) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Trader

    The Cheetos ring around the mouth is a dead give away to go with the orange fingers.
     
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  30. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,361) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    You know, I was trying to find that turn of the last century stat, and didn't think to look at that article. What always confused me is the next sentence-
    "...twice as many as are grown in any other state in the Union..." because that doesn't work out based on stats from only a few years earlier, like this from the 1900 Census:
    [​IMG]
    As you note, yields were very important comparing state to state stats (maybe "twice the yield" is what that line meant?), and CA certainly led in that instance.

    NYS's very low hop yields per acre (along with difficulty with getting "clean" pickings without a lot of leaves and stems) were other reasons beside pests and disease that helped wipe out the New York industry, even though brewers considered them superior to the Pacific coast hops.

    Checking historical hop harvest records year to year is sometimes difficult because they may be listed by pound, bales (of ~200lbs), acres or value at the current rates.

    After Repeal, it get even more confusing because eventually there were attempts at controlling the market, either by the US Dept. of Ag. (which set up boards of growers in the each hop state) under the AAA, or later, apparently the growers themselves to prevent excess crops flooding the market and making the prices so low as to be unprofitable. Sort of an OPEC for hops (HOPEC?).

    So, for certain years in the '30s-early 50s, estimates of the total hop crop are often easily found - and it was those estimates on which the market was controlled. For example, in 1950 the Ag. Dept's "Hop Control Board" announced that only 85.8% of that year's crop would be "saleable" - the rest would be destroyed (or, in some cases, not even harvested) - and the percentage would be allocated based on the growers' previous year's total.

    An example of the difficulty in marketing hops (esp. during the Prohibition era) is one finds some hop ranches simply warehoused excess hops that couldn't be sold or exported - sometimes for years. Hop ranchers were reported as selling 1928 hops in mid-summer 1933 (so, a few months after Repeal) for 19¢/lb. The year began with hops going for 27¢/lb but would jump to 50-75¢ a pound for '32 crop as the hop harvest approached.
     
  31. Crusader

    Crusader Aspirant (247) Feb 4, 2011 Sweden

    With the discussions about US hop growing I thought I would link to the English language Barth & son market reports. They span a good number of years and contain alot of interesting information as far as hops are concerned.
     
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  32. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,390) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    I recommend their "Hop Atlas". It is 200€ or so. You might be able to check it out through a University Library.
     
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