The lowdown: The USDA reports that hop acreage in the Northwest is strung for a record 55,339 acres, 4% more than in 2017. The top variety is Citra, which surpassed Cascade for the first time. Cascade is second, followed by Centennial, Zeus and Simcoe.
Our take: Call it “hop karma,” but it is possible that hop growers over did it in removing about 2,000 acres of Cascade, Centennial and Simcoe. An unusually warm May led to considerable “early bloom,” particularly among those three varieties. Yields seem unlikely to match last year’s robust crop.