Hop Demand Pt 2
But, as brewers experiment with newer and bolder beer flavors, one of the more difficult parts of this brewing boom is to try and guess which hop varieties will be in demand from one year to the next.
The Washington Hop Commission's Jaki Brophy says as more varieties are grown, the need becomes more unpredictable ...
BROPHY ... "Some of the varieties that we have a little bit more in than expected is because people were expecting the growth trend to stay the same. And, so some people are realizing that they committed to maybe a little bit too much of one variety or another than they actually needed to."
Brophy says deciding which varieties to grow can be a crap shoot ...
BROPHY ... "It just depends. Some people are quite good at being conservative and not expecting that they would grow a huge amount year over year. But, overall, the trend is what we're seeing is that brewers were a little bit overly enthusiastic in some of their projections so they were all just trying to dial that in and rebalance everything so if one variety isn't as popular anymore, maybe they would pull that out to plant something that is in higher demand rather than just making new acreage completely and planting the more in-demand variety."
Brophy says 75 percent of the U.S. hops are grown right here in Washington and, over the past 5 years, production is up 85% thanks, in large part, to the growth of craft breweries.