THE HOPS INDUSTRY

 

Hop growing in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States is a proud tradition dating back to the late 19th century. The majority of the American hop industry has been and continues to be family owned and operated farms. Ideal growing conditions and highly skilled producers make the Pacific Northwest region of the United States home to some of the finest hops in the world. A tradition of excellence is the hallmark of U.S. hop industry. As America hop farms grow in size, there is an increasing demand on growers to be experts not only in the hop field, but in the office as well. Skilled management keeps production costs down, while improved methods for fertilization, cultivation, irrigation, and pest control, results in greater yields and the highest possible quality. To meet the ever-increasing demands for quality, variety and dependability, the American hop grower is highly focused on the future.

Hop Producing Areas

The majority of the world's commercial hop production occurs between latitudes 35 and 55 degrees, either north or south of the equator. Day length during the growing season, as determined by latitude, has a major effect on yield.

2011 U.S. Commercial Hop Production Washington - 23,368 acres (78%) Oregon - 4,360 acres (14.5%) Idaho - 2,288 acres (7.5%) Colorado - 80 acres (<1%) Total - 30,096 acres

Alpha Varieties

Chinook was developed by the U.S.D.A. breeding program in Washington State and released in 1985 as a high alpha variety. It has a medium strength aroma profile and is becoming increasingly popular with U.S. craft brewers. Chinook is often used in Pale Ales, IPA's, Stouts, Porters, and in Lagers for bittering. Yield (kilos per hectare) 1904 - 2352 Yield (lbs per acre) 1700 - 2100 Alpha Acids 12.0 - 14.0% Beta Acids 3.0 - 4.0% Alpha-Beta Ratio 3.5 - 4.0 Cohumulone (% of alpha acids): 29 - 35% Total Oils (Mls. per 100 grams dried hops) 1.7 - 2.7 Myrcene (as % of total oils) 35 - 40% Caryophyllene (as % of total oils) 9 - 11% Humulene (as % of total oils) 18 - 23% Farnesene (as % of total oils) <1% Storage (% alpha acids remaining after 6 months at 20C) 68% Possible Substitutions Nugget, Columbus

Nugget

Nugget is a high alpha variety released in 1983 from the U.S.D.A. breeding program in Oregon. It is characterized by a mild herbal aroma, a low proportion of cohumulone, and good storage stability. Nugget is the second most widely grown hop variety in Oregon, and also has significant acreage in Washington State. Yield (kilos per hectare) 2016 - 2464 Yield (lbs per acre) 1800 - 2200 Alpha Acids 11.5 - 14.0% Beta Acids 4.2 - 5.8% Alpha-Beta Ratio 2.4 - 2.8 Cohumulone (% of alpha acids): 22 - 26% Total Oils (Mls. per 100 grams dried hops) 1.8 - 2.2 Myrcene (as % of total oils) 48 - 55% Caryophyllene (as % of total oils) 7 - 9% Humulene (as % of total oils) 16 - 19% Farnesene (as % of total oils) <1% Storage (% alpha acids remaining after 6 months at 20C) 76% Possible Substitutions Galena, CTZ, Magnum

Aroma Varieties

Cascade Cascade is an aroma hop that was developed by the U.S.D.A. breeding program in Oregon and released in 1972. It contains low amounts of alpha acids. The aroma is of medium strength and provides a unique floral/spicy character with well balanced bittering potential. It is the most popular hop with the U.S. craft brewing industry. Yield (kilos per hectare) 1792 - 2240 Yield (lbs per acre) 1600 - 2000 Alpha Acids 4.5 - 7.0% Beta Acids 4.8 - 7.0% Alpha-Beta Ratio 0.9 - 1.0 Cohumulone (% of alpha acids): 33 - 40% Total Oils (Mls. per 100 grams dried hops) .7 - 1.4 Myrcene (as % of total oils) 45 - 60% Caryophyllene (as % of total oils) 3.5 - 5.5% Humulene (as % of total oils) 8 - 13% Farnesene (as % of total oils) 3 - 7% Storage (% alpha acids remaining after 6 months at 20C) 48-52% Possible Substitutions Centennial, Amarillo

Centennial

Centennial is an aroma variety that was released in 1990. It is considered a very balanced hop and sometimes referred to as a super Cascade. It is well suited for Ale style beers and has been used in Wheat beers. Yield (kilos per hectare) 1700-2000 Yield (lbs per acre) 1500-1750 Alpha Acids 9.5-11.5% Beta Acids 3.5-4.5% Alpha-Beta Ratio 2.7 Cohumulone (% of alpha acids): 28-30% Total Oils (Mls. per 100 grams dried hops) 1.5-2.5 Myrcene (as % of total oils) 58% Caryophyllene (as % of total oils) 5% Humulene (as % of total oils) 11% Farnesene (as % of total oils) 0% Storage (% alpha acids remaining after 6 months at 20C) 60-65% Possible Substitutions Cascade

Willamette

Named after Oregon's Willamette River, which runs through that state's hop growing region, Willamette was released in 1976 from the U.S.D.A. breeding program. The variety is characterized by a low alpha acids content and mild aroma. It is the most popular American aroma hop accounting for approximately 20% of total U.S. hop acreage. The aroma can be described as mild, slightly spicy, and pleasant. Yield (kilos per hectare) 1456 - 1792 Yield (lbs per acre) 1300 - 1600 Alpha Acids 4.0 - 6.0% Beta Acids 3.5 - 4.5% Alpha-Beta Ratio 1.3 - 1.4 Cohumulone (% of alpha acids): 30 - 35% Total Oils (Mls. per 100 grams dried hops) 1.0 - 1.5 Myrcene (as % of total oils) 30 - 40% Caryophyllene (as % of total oils) 6.5 - 8.2% Humulene (as % of total oils) 20 - 27% Farnesene (as % of total oils) 5 - 6% Storage (% alpha acids remaining after 6 months at 20C) 60-65% Possible Substitutions Fuggle, Tettnang, Styrian Golding

Crystal

Crystal is a triploid variety that was bred by U.S.D.A. from Hallertau mf, Cascade, Northern Brewer, and Early Green. It is perceived as the most pungent of the triploid Hallertau family of hops, and is increasingly popular among U.S. craft brewers. It is a versatile variety that is used in Pilsners and Lagers, as well as in ESB's and American and Belgian-style Ales. Crystal is primarily grown in Oregon. Yield (kilos per hectare) 1,350 - 2,250 Yield (lbs per acre) 1,200 - 2,000 Alpha Acids 3.5 - 5.5% Beta Acids 4.5 - 6.5% Cohumulone (% of alpha acids) 20 - 26% Total Oils (Mls. per 100 grams dried hops) 1.0 - 1.5 Myrcene (as % of other oils) 40 - 65% Caryophyllene (as % of other oils) 4.0 - 8.0% Humulene (as % of other oils) 18 - 24% Farnesene (as % of other oils) < 1.0% Storage (% alpha acids remaining after 6 months at 20C) 50% Possible Substitutions Mt. Hood, Liberty