The value of all hops produced in 2016 in the United States has totaled $498 million, up 44 percent from the record 2015 value of $345 million. The production also increased by 11% to 87.1 million pounds, up 11 percent from the 2015 crop of 78.8 million pounds. These official figures were released last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The reason for the much higher increase in value over production can be attributed to the continued trend to shift hop production from Alpha varieties to Aroma varieties that are higher in value. “That’s been driven by craft (breweries), largely,” says Ann George, executive director of Hop Growers of America. “Now we’re 70 percent aroma and 30 percent alpha.”
Hop production in the U.S. is concentrated in three states, namely Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Washington accounts for 75% of the U.S. hop production, while Oregon and Idaho contribute only 14% and 11%. Major varieties are Cascade, Simcoe, Zeus, Centennial, Citra, and Mosaic in Washington; Nugget, Cascade, and Willamette in Oregon; and Zeus, Cascade, and Mosaic in Idaho.