Birds and Brews
DOUG WALSH ... "Craft beers are the shining star for the hop industry. They've just increased the use of hops exponentially over the past several years."
WSU Hop Researcher Doug Walsh says when he began field studies over a decade ago, craft beer was gaining in popularity, but he never imagined it would go 'chic' the way it has ...
DOUG WALSH ... "Absolutely, and what's kind of great is it's the millennials who are really leading the charge here. As they achieve drinking age they're drinking beer, craft beer."
Walsh says hop production in our state jumped 16% this year as more people than ever are enjoying craft beers, but the beer industry numbers can be a bit misleading ...
DOUG WALSH ... "In fact, beer consumption overall is actually down. It's the craft beers that are selling like hot-cakes off the shelves. Basically, people really like the extra hoppiness that's added in the craft beers and that's what's differentiating them from the older, traditional Pilsners that were kind of the beer of yesteryear."
So, I asked Walsh if people are moving away from wine or Pilsners?
DOUG WALSH ... "I'd say probably a little bit of both."
He says the state's prolific harvest is driven by our increasingly discriminate palate, since craft beers contain many more hops than traditional beers.