The Next Phase In Local Craft Beer: Homegrown Hops

For the casual craft beer drinker in Minnesota, supporting local breweries usually means frequenting area taprooms and buying Minnesota-made beer at the liquor store. But with the increasing availability of locally grown brewing ingredients such as hops, the next step in the craft movement involves seeking out beers that go one step further and use ingredients harvested as close … [ Read more]

Brewing Terroir: Unearthing the distinct regional flavor of hops

Name a hop, and craft beer drinkers will tell you exactly how it tastes. The resinous pine of Cascade. The juicy citrus of El Dorado. The earthy spice of Saaz. One way craft beer fans have learned about hop flavors is through SMaSH recipes, so called because they’re brewed with a “Single Malt and Single … [ Read more]

U of M paving the way toward better barley, stronger hops

It’s not a question of if, but when an invasive species will threaten Minnesota hop crops. That’s not meant to scare local hop growers or breweries that use them. It’s just something University of Minnesota professor Gary Muehlbauer is trying to prevent with his research. Luckily, he and two other U of M professors have … [ Read more]

Brewers Association, USDA team up to breed disease-resistant hops

Brewers Association, a not-for-profit trade group,  has reached a deal with the United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) to fund a public hop breeding program. The trust agreement would develop disease-resistant hop strains to be released into the public domain, greatly opening up access for growers, buyers, and brewers who were previously working … [ Read more]

Hops and pot: How they’re related

Hops are a resinous, green flower, and from what Snoop Dogg taught me, so too is that sticky icky icky. But the similarities between hops and weed go well beyond how they look and feel. Not only did scientists confirm in 2012 that the two plants are genetically related, belonging to Cannabinaceae family, now further research is helping us understand … [ Read more]

Three Canadians land in jail after mistaking hops for marijuana

Meanwhile in Canada… three residents of Charlottetown in the province of Prince Edward Island were arrested after attempting to get their hands on marijuana grown on a Stratford-area farm. According to a report by CBC News, the three adults were quickly taken into custody after the owner of the farm called authorities to report trespassers near … [ Read more]

All the hops: 2016 fresh hop beer round-up

The leaves aren’t the only things that change colors during autumn in Minnesota. Beers across the state go from gold to red, then brown and black, but in the midst of that change is one final harvest—it’s fresh hop season, ladies and gentleman. In conjunction with the boom of new breweries, the state’s commercial hop … [ Read more]

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 … [ Read more]

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 … [ Read more]

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 … [ Read more]

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 … [ Read more]

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 … [ Read more]

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 … [ Read more]

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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 … [ Read more]

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 … [ Read more]