Where are the best hops grown in the US?

Answered by Robert Dupre

The best hops in the United States are primarily grown in the Big-3 states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. These three states dominate hop production and are renowned for their high-quality hops. Let’s delve into each state’s contribution to the US hop industry.

1. Washington: Washington is the largest hop producer in the United States, accounting for over 75% of the country’s hop production. The Yakima Valley, located in central Washington, is often referred to as the “Hop Capital of the World.” This region benefits from an optimal climate for hop cultivation, with plenty of sunlight during the growing season and cool nights that help develop the hop flavors. Washington State is home to many well-known hop varieties such as Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook, which are widely used in craft brewing.

2. Oregon: Oregon is the second-largest hop producer in the United States, contributing significantly to the country’s hop supply. The Willamette Valley, located in western Oregon, is the primary hop-growing region in the state. This area benefits from fertile soil, moderate temperatures, and abundant rainfall, creating ideal conditions for hop cultivation. Oregon is known for producing a diverse range of hop varieties, including Willamette, Cascade, and Mount Hood hops. These hops are highly sought after for their unique flavors and aromas.

3. Idaho: Idaho ranks third in hop production in the United States. The southwestern part of the state, particularly the Treasure Valley region, is known for its hop cultivation. Idaho’s hop industry has been steadily growing in recent years, with an increasing focus on developing new hop varieties. The state’s diverse climate and fertile soil contribute to the production of high-quality hops. Idaho-grown hops such as Idaho 7, Simcoe, and Galena are gaining popularity among brewers for their distinct characteristics.

These three states collectively dominate the US hop industry, accounting for nearly 100% of hop production. Their optimal growing conditions, expertise in hop cultivation, and focus on quality have established them as leaders in hop production. The hops grown in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho are highly regarded by brewers for their flavors, aromas, and consistency.

Personal Experience:
As a beer enthusiast who has visited several breweries and hop farms in the Pacific Northwest, I have witnessed firsthand the importance of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho in the US hop industry. The vast hop fields stretching across the Yakima Valley and the aroma of fresh hops in the air are truly captivating. The dedication and passion of the hop farmers in these states are evident in the high-quality hops they produce. Craft breweries from around the country rely on the hops cultivated in these regions to create unique and flavorful beers.