In January 2020, Hop Growers of America released their 2019 Statistical Report on the state of hop growing and production in the United States. The 2020 report should be due out in January 2021.
The report as full of interesting data, but it was all broken down by state. Here at Beer Maverick, we decided to combine all the hop production data into one dataset and run some analysis on it. There were a lot of interesting facts looking at it this was that were not obvious from their report.
First, let’s set the stage for what we are looking at. This report only showed hops that were grown by its member companies (i.e. no home growers), and they only gathered specific data on hop varietals grown in the Pacific Northwest states of Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
Overall Hop Production
As of 2019, 99% of all hops grown in the United States were grown in the Pacific Northwest. This percentage has stayed constant throughout the US, even has total hop production has increased by 41% over the last five years, from 2014 to 2019.
A total of 113 million pounds of hops were harvested in the United States in 2019, an increase of 4.8% over the year prior.
Over 69% of US hop acreage is in Washington state. Idaho was next, followed by Oregon. The only other state that had more than 1% of the US hop acres was Michigan.
|State||Acres Harvested||US Percentage|
|New York (NY)||400||0.7%|
Earlier we took at the usage of different hop varietals in IPAs. The report was fascinating to those of us looking to piece together new hop additions in our recipes based on what history has told us worked in the most popular IPAs on the market.
The downside to that report was that it only focused on the IPA style of beer, and was only based on the mentioned hops used within 335 beers.
To get a bigger picture of which hops are being used more than others, we needed to look at a larger set of data. This is where the Hop Growers of America dataset comes in. While it doesn’t include any hops grown in the Southern Hemisphere, it is a good picture of what domestically grown hops are being used.
We took the data provided in the report and pivoted it out to look at the combined amounts by variety (they had it broken down by variety and state), and looked at the growth of hops over the last five years.
Read More: Hop Variety Database
While this table shows the total weight of hops harvested, I think it is safe to assume that that is closely correlated with the popularity of each hop. Farmers wouldn’t grow hops they couldn’t sell, so we think this is a safe bet, but it is something you should keep in mind when looking at the data.
Last 5 Years Analysis
- The rise in IPA popularity is of course driving the amount of Citra grown, but the fact that Pahto is second in the amount of new acreage dedicated to it over the last five years is astounding. This is especially impressive seeing that Pahto’s 2014 numbers were nil. Pahto is primarily used as a bittering hop and has slight herbal, earthy, and floral aromatics. It is a very high alpha hop variety that delivers a clean and smooth bitterness when used early in the boil. Farmers love Pahto because it is late-maturing and resistant to powdery and downy mildew, providing more yield bang for their buck.
- Over the last five years, the classic CTZ hop has strengthened its reign as the most harvested hop. In 2014 farmers produced 1.5 million more pounds of CTZ hops than its nearest competitor. In 2019, that number increased to 4.9 million pounds.
- Cascade lost the most acreage of any US grown hop, followed closely by Bravo and Summit.
- Azacca production grew by 339% over the last five years, which is the highest of any hop that was not a new variety in the same time span. Ahtanum was next in line with a 226% growth rate.
- The most popular varieties of hops that debuted in the last five years were Pahto, Amarillo, Eureka and Ekuanot.
- Among the eight hops that lost 100% of their production since 2014, Hallertau Magnum topped the list, followed closely by Liberty, Jarrylo and Tettnanger. At least in the case of the bittering Magnum and Liberty hops, one can safely assume that their production was shifted towards Pahto.
2019 Hop Production Data Table
|Hop||2015 Production (lbs)||2019 Production (lbs)||2019 Production Rank||5-year Change||5-year Change %||5-year Change Rank|