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Across the Pond

Across the Pond

Welcome to our new blog series. Over the next number of weeks and months will be shedding some light on the trends, trials and tribulations of the craft beer mecca that is the US of A!

In our first of the series we look at the increasing popularity of  craft beer in Sin City and the implications for hop growers in the region. Alexander S. Corey writing for Review Journal recently examined craft beer popularity and how it has generated up a growing interest in hops in Las Vegas.

“hops are a cone-shaped flower used to flavor beer. The aroma that accompanies many beers comes from the hops.”

“Hops: The Art of Fermentation” was a talk recently hosted by the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Herds and Harvest Program. It seemed like the natural thing to do according to program officer Jessica Anderson due to the number of new breweries that have recently opened in Southern Nevada. The increased popularity of hops-heavy styles of craft beer in Las Vegas has made brewers have to think long and hard about their current situation.

hops

 

At the talk delegates discussed how Southern Nevada’s climate may not be practical for large-scale hop growing, but that hops can be grown almost anywhere with some creativity. but in the US as a whole hops are being produced at record numbers, thanks in large part to farms in the Pacific Northwest.

For the third time in the last 10 years, the United States has surpassed Germany as the top hops producer, according to a 2015 annual report by the Hop Growers of America.In 2015, the U.S. produced $80.2 million pounds of hops, compared with $62.2 million pounds in Germany.

We found it interesting that only certain kinds of hop can be sustained in the region. Michael Beaman of Banger Brewing says that they are often forced to get their hops from elsewhere. Beaman said the brewers grow some hops in house, but that they don’t grow as great in Southern Nevada. “Only a certain variety will grow out here,”.

This is a serious dilemma for the breweries of Southern Nevada would do not want to miss out on the opportunities that Craft Beer growth posses in Las Vegas. Some outside of the box thinking is needed surely.

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