Hops in 2020 Pt 2

Hops in 2020 Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I’m Bob Larson. Hop harvest is underway in the Pacific Northwest as growers expect a pretty decent crop while navigating and absorbing challenges brought by the pandemic.

Washington Hop Commission’s Jaki Brophy says even though the beer industry sales have been down somewhat during the COVID-19 restrictions, hop growers will be okay at least for this year …

BROPHY … “The hop industry works on contracts, just because of the extremely high cost of growing them and producing them. So, everything had really, already been set as far as contracts and how much everybody was going to produce this year on their farms. That had already been set by the late spring.”

And, Brophy says the hop industry kind of saw the writing on the wall …

BROPHY … “So, a lot of the hop merchants made a lot of efforts and worked with our growers to either reduce acreage a little bit, some people did actually reduce some of their acreage. Some people, you know, didn’t string with as high a frequency so the acreage is still there, but the actual production will be a little bit lower to try and spread out the hit across the industry.”

Brophy says the restaurant and bar closures offset gains in retail beer sales …

BROPHY … “Even though a lot of people are talking about alcohol sales were up for grocery stores, overall, they were actually quite low.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on how the hop industry is navigating coronavirus challenges.

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