Craft breweries have taken off. Can local hops production take off too?

Hop Plant. Photo: OSU South Centers

Hop plants – Photo: OSU South Centers

by Katie Speicher, Sustainable Plant Systems major

Hops are an ingredient used in beer production that gives beer a bitter flavor and hoppy aroma. Think about the taste of an Indian Pale Ale, also known as an IPA.

Production of hops mainly takes place in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Production was forced out west due to problems with the diseases powdery mildew and downy mildew. However, several universities are conducting research, looking to bring production of this specialty crop back to the Northeast. These universities include The Ohio State University and the University of Vermont.

Due to the growth in the number of craft breweries coupled with the trend of buying local, hops could be a potentially profitable crop. In Ohio, it is estimated that breweries spend $4 million importing hops from the Northwest. To bring this crop back to Ohio, Ohio State is conducting research to develop specific production protocols and pest management strategies for Ohio.

For More Info:

To keep up to date on what is happening with the hops research check out:
Ohio Hops on Facebook

Read more:  Good sources for more information; nice summary
South Center Horticulture
University of Vermont
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This blog post was an assignment for  Societal Issues: Pesticides, Alternatives and the Environment (PLNTPTH 4597). The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the class, Department of Plant Pathology or the instructor.