What’s brewing? FAS Recognizes 90 Years of U.S. Hops Industry, Gone Global

Posted by Zane Evans, Public Affairs Specialist, USDA Overseas Agricultural Service in


Sep 01, 2023

Foreign Agricultural Service’s Junior Professional Advancement Community team pose in front of hops vines at Loftus Ranches in Yakima Valley, Washington

American breweries and craft beer have grown in recognition lately. And that curiosity in these refreshing, artisan drinks is hopping from continent-to-continent thanks partially to collaboration between the U.S. Division of Agriculture’s (USDA) Overseas Agricultural Service (FAS) and the U.S. hops trade.

By way of USDA packages just like the Market Entry Program and the High quality Samples Program, FAS supplies monetary and technical help to growers and exporters to assist them promote their merchandise abroad and construct new industrial markets for U.S. hops and craft beer world wide. These two packages assist commerce organizations, comparable to Hops Growers of America (HGA), attain new clients and showcase to international brewers the standard of U.S. hops.

“As we speak, craft beer instructions about 20 % of U.S. beer quantity,” mentioned Maggie Elliot, HGA Science and Communications Director. “And the momentum sparked by U.S. craft beer has stretched to worldwide markets, invoking an unprecedented demand for American hops.”

Hops on the vine in a field Loftus Ranches hops farm in Yakima Valley, Washington

This growing demand is one thing FAS is making an attempt to assist the U.S. agriculture trade meet globally and outcomes are beginning to pour in. For instance, america exported 366 % extra hops to Taipei in 2022 than in 2021. This rising enthusiasm for U.S. hops and craft drinks was evident earlier this 12 months, on the USA Craft Beer Pageant organized by the USDA-FAS Agricultural Commerce Workplace in Taipei. The pageant promoted U.S. elements in craft brewing and was very nicely acquired leading to direct gross sales of U.S. hops.

Proper now, it’s harvesting season for hops crops in america. Growers are laborious at work, particularly in Yakima Valley, Washington—the heartlands of U.S. hops. In reality, 71 % of U.S. hops is grown in Washington state. Including in Idaho’s 16 % and Oregon at 13, these three states mixed produce 98 % of America’s hops.

A hops processor at Loftus Ranches hops farm in Washington’s Yakima Valley

Of the hops grown in america, 70 % is exported abroad, in line with HGA. And American hops exporters promote to greater than 60 nations on a number of continents—a world market valued at $486 million in 2022. To high it off, america is the world’s high hops producer, accounting for 45 % of the worldwide hop manufacturing in 2022.

By way of continued collaboration, partnership, and efficient packages, FAS stays dedicated to serving to the U.S. hops trade develop and develop new and present worldwide markets. “Sustaining sturdy channels of commerce has proved very important to the resiliency of the trade,” added Elliot.

USDA-ARS has a brand new public breeding program known as Vista, led by geneticist Dr. John Henning. He has been creating hops varieties for many years. The USDA’s public breeding packages bred the genetic hop base on which American craft beer was constructed, comparable to Cascade and Centennial hops. And now micro and macro breweries world wide are utilizing U.S. hops to create genuine American-style beers. Cheers!

To be taught extra, learn FAS Helps Brew Up Enterprise for U.S. Hops Business.