North American hop acreage reaches all-time high in 2016

In 2016, U.S. hop acreage jumped another 18.5% to a total of 53,213 acres—an unprecedented height for American hop acreage. According to USA Hops, after a 15.4% increase in acres harvested in the US in 2015, a 10.2% increase in 2014, a 10.3% increase in 2013, and a 7.2% increase in 2012, acreage has jumped […]

Mighty Axe Hops expansion more than doubles Minnesota’s hop acreage

The Friday before Memorial Day, folks are often packing up the car to head to the cabin, sneaking off from work early or firing up the grill. Not Eric Sannerud and Benjamin Boo. They were in a field, in the cold rain, training tendrils of hop bines up strings of twine 20 feet in the […]

Beer before hops: The bittering herbs of yore are making a comeback

Hops have been the dominant flavoring agent in beer ever since the Reinheitsgebot, the Bavarian beer purity law of 1516, stipulated that hops were one of three allowable ingredients in brewing. Not only do hops counter the sweetness of malted grains with bitterness, but they also help prevent spoilage in the beer. But prior to […]

Poor hops harvest in 2015 has breweries worried

Drought conditions in Europe and the U.S., and disease in the UK, led to a poor hops harvest in 2015 that has some brewers scrambling to source the ingredient, according to a report by CNBC. With the number of breweries exploding across the U.S. and Europe, the fight for quality hops is all ready intense and increasingly […]

New Brew: Boom Island Django Hop Bier

Boom Island Brewing Company hasn’t ventured too far into the hoppy side of brewing. Other than their Belgian-style IPA, Thoprock (which was especially terrific in its wet-hop form), their beers have relied mostly on malt and yeast for their defining flavors. But even the most traditional Belgians have succumbed to the IPA craze. Recent formulations like Duvel Tripel […]

Wet-Hopped American Winter: Round Table Hops’ plan for a year-round hydroponic harvest

Seasonal beers are one of the great joys of the craft beer industry. All is right in the world when you can drink a winter warmer on New Year’s Eve and a summer session ale on the Fourth of July. Among hopheads, late August to early September marks the best beer season of all: fresh-hop […]

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Climate change’s impact on beer: What you need to know

Jenn Orgolini, sustainability director for Colorado’s New Belgium Brewery, proclaimed in 2011 that beer drinkers should worry about the climate. “If you drink beer now, the issue of climate change is impacting you right now,” she warned. We often think of climate change as simply dialing up the global thermostat. But it also changes which […]

Wisconsin’s Northern Discovery and the importance of wild hops

When La Crosse, Wisconsin’s, Pearl Street Brewery released Linalool IPA on October 16, they made history as the first brewery to use the Wisconsin wild hop, Northern Discovery, in a bottled beer. Pearl Street’s brewmaster and founder Joe Katchever likes the idea of his brewery utilizing what is essentially a local hop. “The beer is basically […]

Hops + Malt + Coffee = Big Watt Brewers Press

It seems like every brewer is adding cold press coffee to craft beer these days, but you may not yet be familiar with coffee roasters adding hops to cold press. It’s a delicate balance—both hops and coffee have intensely flavored acids that will clash if a brewer isn’t careful. Big Watt founders Jason Westplate and Lee Carter have come up […]

Green acres: investment, innovation, and the future of local hops

Early September brings with it the start of school, the last vacation to the cabin, or even a blue ribbon at the Minnesota State Fair. For hop growers, this time of year means a hectic, labor-intensive, but potentially glorious payoff: harvest. From mid-August through mid-September, hop growers from across Minnesota’s burgeoning hop industry are gathering […]

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Mighty Axe Hops Releases Free Minnesota Hops Grower’s Guide

Growing hops can be a treacherous journey filled with scary-sounding pitfalls like nutrient deficiencies, spider mites and downey mildew. Done right, however, even the backyard hop grower can yield bountiful bines of fresh, hoppy goodness. The folks over at Mighty Axe Hops in Ham Lake, Minnesota, today released the Minnesota Hop Grower’s Guide, a 21-page overview that […]

Bitter Reality: How to Manage Rising Hop Prices

In this article, local supply chain consultants from West Monroe Partners discuss how brewers handle the volatility of hop prices as demand and supply costs continue to grow. The beers once villainized by Keystone’s “Bitter Beer Face” campaign are now some of the most popular styles in America. This evolution of consumers’ taste buds hasn’t […]

Wanna buy a Hopyard? Hippity Hops is on the block

By Adam Folk If all goes as planned, George and Leah Shetka’s half-acre hopyard will be growing lush Cascade cones for years to come. Chickens will be pecking spider mites from the bases of their 20-foot tall bines, and fans of Lift Bridge’s Harvestor Fresh Hop Ale will be able to sip on the brew […]

Minnesota Hops on the Map

By Adam Overland Minnesota is changing. The change was subtle at first, and many years from now it will be hard to say or remember exactly when it began. But history books love to mark time with dates, and so when the textbook is written about the history of hops in Minnesota, February 22, 2014 […]

Why I Love Hops

In this edition of Deep Thoughts With Dave Hoops, I talk about one of  my favorite beer ingredients—hops. By Dave Hoops Photos by Dave Hoops My name is Dave Hoops, Master Brewer at Fitger’s Brewhouse in Duluth, Minnesota. The hops used in brewing are the female flowers of the hop plant, Humulus Lupulus, a perennial producing […]

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