US hop acreage has grown by 18.5% in 2016, according to Brewbound, which represents around 8,300 new acres. This is the third year running the hop farming industry has recorded double-digit growth following on from figures of 15.4% in 2015 and 10.2% in 2014.
WHY IT MATTERS
Last year’s hop shortage was widely reported, and some speculated that it could damage smaller craft brewers who were unable to obtain the most sought after aroma hops. In reality, despite after what was relatively a poor harvest, the USDA reported an increase in hop yields for 2015.
The reality is that your favorite IPA isn’t suddenly going to disappear from liquor store shelves. The craft beer industry might be growing faster than the hop farms can keep up, especially with increased demand for aroma hops over bittering hops but farmers are catching up. This vastly increased acreage should come as welcome relief for brewers of all sizes, especially considering Stan Heironymous has reported that the 2016 crop is looking healthy.
US hop growers may struggle to meet demand for a few years to come, but this is some reassuring evidence that they are working harder then ever to meet brewers demands.
— Matthew Curtis
U.S. Hop Acreage Grows 18.5 Percent – Via Brewbound