emalt- Hop crop value soars 44% this year
US hop farmers have celebrated record revenues from their crops in 2016 as they planted more acres despite signs that the craft beer boom, which has boosted demand for the key brewing ingredient, may be peaking, the Financial Times reported on December 19.
The value for the year’s hop crop soared 44 per cent this year from 2015, totalling just short of $500 mln, according to the US Department of Agriculture. “Higher hop acreage and production” and the continued trend to shift hop production to more expensive varieties favoured by craft beer makers were behind the jump, said the USDA in its latest report on hop output.
Craft brewers use four-to-ten times more hops than the amount used in the average lager produced by multinational brewers, and the surge in popularity for microbrews, which are high in flavour and aroma, has pushed up demand and prices for certain speciality hops. Nevertheless, as farmers push to plant more hops, US consumption of craft beer may be slowing.