Great Lakes Hops

Project Director: Erin Lizotte, J Robert Sirrine — Michigan State University

From 2010 to 2020, hop production interests increased dramatically, particularly in the Great Lakes, Northeast and North Central regions. Emerging hop growing locations include Michigan, New York, Wisconsin, Colorado, Canada, Minnesota, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, North Carolina and other states with smaller operations. This includes acreage growth of 284 percent outside of the Pacific Northwest. The market support also grew in 2017-2018, with 50 percent of brewers saying they would pay top dollar for locally grown hops (International Hop Growers’ Convention & 2018 Hop Growers of America Statistical Report).

Despite the enthusiastic growth of hop production throughout the region, there are significant challenges to re-emerging production regions. There are limited resources and land grant university staff spread across the North Central region and neighboring states. In order to best serve growers, collaboration must be fostered to bring regional expertise to local issues. There is a need for development of new cultivars and best management practices to enhance yield, quality, and profit under the climactic and market conditions. The Great Lakes Hop Working Group (GLHWG) facilitates collaborative research, outreach and information sharing to help optimize the use of regional resources to maximize industry impact.