Recent years have been tough on hop growers with the fast and ever-evolving craft brewing industry constantly changing their buying habits as they develop new beer styles. But this year has been like no other.
First the pandemic hit, putting some breweries out of business while others changed their production needs. Then a major wind storm hit the Pacific Northwest region, damaging 3-5% of the hops on the vines. This was followed by fires throughout the region, with many employees and seasonal pickers having to evacuate their homes as many farms picked hops in hazardous air conditions.
It was an eventful season but most hop farmers were able to adapt, used to an industry that has is always full of surprises. “It’s like driving down the freeway at 70 miles an hour at night with no headlights,” Steve Carpenter, chief supply officer for Yakima Chief Hops, told Capitol Press. Full story here.
Hop Q&A in ProBrewer Discussion Boards here.