Hops are an essential ingredient in beer production. The female flower “cones” of the hop plant contain lupulin glands with compounds important to the brewing process. These compounds—alpha acids, beta acids, and essential oils—contribute to beer’s bitterness and aroma. Recent hop shortages, the growing appeal of specialty beers, and the desire for organic and locally sourced agricultural products have resulted in increasing interest in local hop production among farmers, brewers, and hobbyists. Continue reading more about sustainable hop production in the Great Lakes region, or take a virtual introduction into the hop industry.
Use the resources listed below to help you get started with your hop production.
- USDA Hop Genetic Resources
- USDA Hop Cultivar Index
- Growing Hops in the Backyard, William Bamka and Ed Dager, Rutgers Cooperative Research and Extension
- Growing Hops in New England, Leonard P. Perry, University of Vermont Extension
- Hop Trellising and Budgets, Edward B. Page, Colorado State University
- Hopyard Construction: Budgeting and Economics, Edward B. Page and Ron Godin, Colorado State University
- Simple Earth Hops: Hop Trellis Parts List
- Building a Hopyard, Roger Rainville, University of Vermont
- Trellis Cost Budget, University of Minnesota
- Southern Wire Corporation
- Erigging Supply
- Safeland Industrial Supply, Inc.
- Web Rigging Supply
- Fehr Bros Industries, Inc.
- Trickl-eez Company
- Springbrook Supply
- Setting Up Irrigation in Your Hopyard, YouTube video by University of Vermont Extension
- Irrigation parts list, University of Vermont Extension
Organic hops production
Organic hops production in the United States is finding a niche among the growing number of microbreweries that currently purchase organic hops from New Zealand and China. The links below look at cultural requirements for organic hops, hops varieties, and recent research. They also provide a list of further hops resources.
- Starting up small-scale organic hops production, Robert Sirrine, Michigan State University Extension
- Hops: Organic Production, George Kuepper, National Center for Appropriate Technology
- Challenges and Opportunities for Organic Hop Production in the United States, Agronomy Journal, Volume 103, Issue 6, 2011