Germany Reclaims Top Spot in Global Hop Production After 9 Years

In a notable shift within the global hop market, Germany has regained its position as the leading hop producer in the world after a nine-year hiatus. This development comes despite a slight reduction in hop acreage and significant changes in hop varieties.

The global hop market is currently facing high inventory levels, leading to falling prices and a reduction in hop cultivation areas. According to the Association of German Hop Growers(Verband Deutscher Hopfenpflanzer), global hop acreage is expected to decrease by 4,800 hectares, bringing the total to just under 55,000 hectares compared to 2023.

The United States, previously the largest hop producer, will see the most significant reduction in hop acreage, decreasing from 22,500 hectares to 17,850 hectares. In contrast, Germany's reduction is less severe, with a loss of only 340 hectares, leaving the country with 20,300 hectares of hop cultivation. This allows Germany to surpass the USA and reclaim its status as the world's top hop producer.

Australia, which has a much smaller hop production compared to Germany and the US, announced earlier this year that it will also reduce its acreage by 21% (, 2.5.2024).

A closer look at Germany's hop production reveals a trend of shifting from aroma hops to bitter hop varieties. The bitter hop variety Herkules, which is exclusively grown in Germany, dominates with over 7,900 hectares, accounting for 39% of the country's hop acreage. The new bitter hop variety Titan has also seen significant growth, tripling its cultivation area from 100 hectares to over 300 hectares in 2024. As a result, bitter hop varieties now constitute 53% of Germany's total hop area.

Conversely, the two most prominent German aroma hop varieties, Perle and Hallertauer Tradition, have seen a decline in acreage. The Perle variety has reduced by 375 hectares to 2,860 hectares, while Hallertauer Tradition has decreased by 240 hectares, leaving 2,460 hectares in 2024.

The hop market is closely tied to the beer industry, with nearly all hops produced globally used in beer production. Since the coronavirus pandemic, stagnating global beer sales have negatively impacted the hop market (, 24.5.2024). Despite the current positive developments in German hop production, German hop growers remain cautious about the future due to these broader market challenges.

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