Why Hop Production Is Really Hopping This Year

What's Hot

How to Cut the Cable TV Cord in 2017Family

8 Major Freebies and Discounts You Get With Amazon PrimeSave

8 Creative Ways to Clear ClutterAround The House

Study: People Who Curse Are More HonestFamily

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Pay $2 and Get Unlimited Wendy’s Frosty Treats in 2017Family

The 3 Golden Rules of Lending to Friends and FamilyBorrow

6 Reasons Why Savers Are Sexier Than SpendersCredit & Debt

Resolutions 2017: Save More Money Using 5 Simple TricksCredit & Debt

Porta-Potties for Presidential Inauguration Cause a StinkFamily

Protecting Trump Will Cost Taxpayers $35 MillionFamily

Tax Hacks 2017: Don’t Miss These 16 Often-Overlooked Tax BreaksTaxes

5 New Year’s Resolutions That Will Pay Off 10 Years From NowCollege

10 Simple Money Moves to Make Before the New YearFamily

A growing love of craft beers helped push hop prices to record highs this year, making 2015 a banner year for hop growers.

With U.S. hop production up 11 percent over 2014 and prices reaching new highs, 2015 was a great year to be a hop grower, and those growers have Americans’ love of craft beer to thank.

The increased popularity of craft brews drove both production growth and many growers’ transition to planting higher-value aroma hops, according to the Capital Press.

Hops are used primarily as a flavoring and balancing agent in beer. With U.S. breweries hitting a record high 4,144 in 2015, a number that’s growing by the day, it’s no wonder that hops are in high demand. Craft breweries have projected 20 percent annual growth for the next five years.

Nearly 75 percent of U.S. hops are grown in Washington state. The remaining 25 percent comes from Idaho and Oregon. Together, the three states produce roughly a third of the global supply of hops.

All three Pacific Northwest states increased hop production this year, with Idaho harvesting its biggest crop since 1944 and Washington producing its highest hop crop since 1915, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. This, despite an early season heat wave and lower than average winter snowpack level, which affect irrigation.

“Considering those challenges and the amount of first-year plants in the ground, which have smaller yield, we are pleased with the final count and looking forward to next year,” Ann George, executive director of Hop Growers of America, told the Capital Press. She said hop acreage is expected to continue growing in the Pacific Northwest, even though it has increased by 48 percent in the last three years.

The average price per pound for hops reached a record high $4.38 per pound in 2015, compared to $3.67 last year and $3.35 in 2013. George said craft breweries’ demand for higher-value aroma varieties of hops “has challenged the industry to continue to expand production at an equivalent rate.”

Meanwhile, European hop producers had a tough year. Drought dropped production levels by 24 percent from 2014.

Check out “Many Drinkers No Longer Pop a Top on These 7 Beers.”

Are you a craft beer lover? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: 11 Tested Tips to Fend Off Holiday Weight Gain

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,767 more deals!