North American hop acreage reaches all-time high in 2016

Hops growing Kathy M Helgeson/UWRF Communications

Hops growing // Photo by Kathy M Helgeson, UWRF Communications

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 up once again.

“The US hop industry has been in catch-up mode in recent years as the supply of craft-popular US aroma hops has lagged behind the dramatic growth of the craft brewing sector in both domestic and overseas markets.  The 2016 acreage expansion is once again a direct response to market demand and does not happen overnight. It requires significant planning and commitment of industry resources,” said Pete Mahoney, Vice President, Supply Chain/Purchasing at John I. Haas.

The Pacific Northwest saw the greatest expansion with 7,482 new acres planted in the past year, along with adding additional production capacity. Approximately 70% of the new acreage was planted with proprietary varieties that are in high demand from breweries around the world.

Washington’s Yakima Valley leads U.S. production with 37,475 acres, representing over 70% of the country’s acreage. Oregon and Idaho follow with 7,669 and 5,971 acres respectively. Michigan, the leader outside of the Pacific Northwest, has an estimated 650 acres in production with more under development. The total for non-Pacific Northwest producing states increased in acreage by 64% this year, with 26 states reported 2,098 acres in production, collectively.

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