In a recent release, Hop Growers of America (HGA) deemed the 2015 hop crop “good” overall. Despite climatic challenges, this year’s harvest exceeded 2014’s by 11%, and most hop contracts are expected to be fulfilled by U.S. growers and merchants.
(Some reported numbers vary slightly because some reports reflect acreage and some reflect yield, and they’re not necessarily congruent.)
The U.S. now produces approximately one-third of the world’s hops, and close to three-fourths of the country’s hops are grown in Washington’s Yakima Valley alone. In 2014, Washington’s hop acreage totaled 28,858. This year it increased to 32,158 acres.
Back in April of this year, when we had roughly 600 fewer breweries in America, we wrote about how craft breweries’ demand for hops has been putting some strain on hop growers. Apparently, growers are responding to that demand.
According to this article, hop acreage in the Pacific Northwest increased 48% in just the last three years. Perhaps some of that growth was in response to the hop crisis we had some years back, but the number of breweries in the U.S. has also exponentially increased to more than 4,144, with an average of two new breweries opening each day, so demand will surely continue for years to come.