Last week, the American Hop Convention, organized by the Hop Growers of America, brought hop growers, merchants, researchers and craft brewers together in one room to talk hop demand, hand out awards and celebrate the craft brewing industry. The Sierra Nevada blog posted a report of the event and touted it as an important opportunity to show their gratitude to the hops industry.
“For us and other breweries—about 25 this year—the multi-day convention is a forum to talk hops, an ingredient Ken [Grossman] has treasured since he first smelled them around the age of 10,” the blog reported. “The convention sessions tackled an array of issues from hop-drying techniques to sustainability matters like water and power use.”
Demand for aroma hops has skyrocketed, which has impacted what hop farmers are planting, growing and selling. Sierra Nevada stressed that to get the best possible hops (and therefore beer), partnerships between brewers and suppliers need to be strengthened to ensure that hop growers are able to grow quality crops.
The blog also reported that the Brewers Association shared some figures from the association’s craft brewery survey, still in the works, that pointed to brewers using 1.14 lbs of hops per barrel of beer in the 2011 production year. The association anticipates that number to jump to 1.2 lbs or more in 2013.
Though there were serious talks about the industry, the attendees also had some fun in awarding the Cascade Cup to the best cut of Cascade hops submitted by growers. They even indulged in a cornucopia of fresh craft beers.
For all the event details, check out Sierra Nevada’s blog “A hop forward week.”