Germany: Hop growers and brewers breathe a sigh of relief

The hop crop in Germany, the world’s second largest growing area, has started these days, one week ahead of time. Although it will take about one more month until all hops is harvested, it is expected that quality and quantity are better than originally feared. Despite high temperatures and little precipitation, two factors which usually adversely affect quality and yield of hops, the official hop commission estimates only a slightly below average hop crop.

A 3.1% higher hop acreage was more than offset by lower yields which will decrease the amount of hops harvested in Germany this year by about 3.45%, according to official estimates.

Main hop varieties which account for around 70% of the total acreage are the bitter hops Herkules (6.309 ha), and Hall. Magnum (1.992 ha), followed by the aroma hops Perle (3.303 ha), and Hall. Tradition (2.712 ha). Hop flavor varieties account only for an acreage of 1.150 ha with Mandarina Bavaria (320 ha) or Amarillo (300 ha) being among the best known.

Concerning alpha values it is still too early to make precise predictions. “However, it is to be feared that this summer with its long persistent high temperatures and insufficient water supply will not give cause for joy,” writes Rudolf Eisemann, Managing Partner of HildegardEisemann Hopfen in his today’s market report. And he goes on: “The red spider bothers hop growers in all growing areas. In order to preserve the quality, hop gardens are being harvested before reaching the final state of maturity.”

Since USA, the world largest hop growing region, is expecting a normal or even better than average hop crop the worldwide hop supply situation is expected to be more or less balanced. Bitter and flavor hop varieties should be available in sufficient amounts, only aroma hops could be in tight supply on the spot market.

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