Hop acreage continues to grow in the U.S. and in Washington state, but at a much slower rate compared to past years, according to a recent report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
The agency estimated that as of June 1, there were about 55,339 acres of U.S. hops. That’s a 3.9 percent increase from reported acreage as of the end of the 2017 hop harvest last fall.
Hop acreage for Washington state, which has the most hops out of all states, increased by just 2.2 percent to 39,273 acres. Oregon’s hop acreage was basically flat at 7,849 acres. Idaho was the notable standout — the state saw acreage increased by 17.5 percent to 8,217 acres.
Slowing growth reflects the same trend seen in craft breweries, which have driven notable hop growth in recent years. The current estimate is more than double the acreage from 2012, in response to strong demand from craft breweries.
Production from craft breweries has decreased from double-digit percentage growth to a few percentage points in the past few years. In 2017, the growth in craft beer production was at 5 percent year-over-year, according to the Brewers Association, a trade association for the craft brewing industry.