By The Independent Staff
Washington has surpassed Germany as the world’s top producer in hops, says researchers at Hops Growers of America. In a Spokesman-Review story, it was reported that the Yakima Valley has become the epicenter for hops growing, producing the most hops on the planet in 2015 and 2016.
Washington State University’s Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Yakima Valley said that over half of the hops being produced in the valley are going to 10 percent of the market – namely craft beers.
Hop producers have seen increased demand for hops. The United States has had a 15-percent increase in the number of hops-acres harvested and the Yakima Valley accounts for 78 percent of the nations hops production. The US accounts for about half of the world’s hops acreage and the production is even higher.
Drough and hail, the Spokesman says, limited hops production in Germany in 2015 and 2016. The Yakima Valley, which uses irrigation was largely unaffected by climate weather meaning that Washington could pass Germany as the world leader.
According to the Brewers association, overall beer consumption dropped .2 percent last year, while craft beers grew 12.8 percent. The overall beer market saw $106 billion in sales, while craft beers had $24 million in sales.
The Spokesman article said that the number of breweries have surpassed their previous peak in the US in 1880.