Introduction. Hops are expensive and in high demandLittle information is available on growing hops in Wisconsin?haven't been grown commercially since the 1920's, when, Wisc. Was the
1. Growing Hops (Again) In Wisconsin Jon B. Reynolds
BrewPlan, Inc. &
Wisconsin Brewers Guild Co-op
2. Introduction Hops are expensive and in high demand
Little information is available on growing hops in Wisconsin—haven’t been grown commercially since the 1920’s, when, Wisc. Was the #1 Production State
Why do Wisconsin Craft Brewers care about Hops now?
Worldwide shortages in many hop varieties
Escalating prices for high-alpha hop varieties ($50/#)
Continued decline in # of West Coast producers
Marketing of indigenous ingredients in their beers
Continued growth of organic beer segment
Trend toward “Buying Local” from co-op’s
3. Challenges for Hops Growers In Wisconsin… Moisture
4. How It All Started Interest in growing hops in Wisconsin started with an organic hop test between Lakefront Brewery, The Michael Fields Institute and Cedar Farms in 2007.
This test was expanded in 2008 to 4 growers in different parts of the state, who attended the MOSES Organic Conference in February, 2008. WI Brewer’s Guild contracted to buy every hop they could produce.
5. Six Wisconsin Brewers Guild Members Created A Cooperative Market for the Growers… Lakefront Brewery, Milwaukee, WI
Sand Creek Brewery, Black River Falls, WI
Tyranena Brewery, Lake Mills, WI
South Shore Brewery, Ashland, WI
Central Waters Brewery, Amherst, WI
The Bull Falls Brewery, Wausau, WI
6. Cost of Introduction
7. Early Results—By Grower Marathon County—Wokatsch Farms—decent yield of 5% in Year 1 using Ginseng trellises—no pelletization—wet hop beers will use the entire crop; magnums and cascades grew best; want to plant more in 2009
Jefferson County—Root Organic Farm—small yield in 2008; have some cones, but nothing really significant; very interested in expanding in 2009 with local Waterloo-area organic farms
Walworth County—Michael Fields Institute—Year 2 of the “Test“—decent yield of 35%; year 1 new rhizomes did not have significant yields
Marquette County—McDowell Farm—flood occurred in most hop fields—11” rain in June caused little to no harvest
Crawford County—Driftless Organics did not plant rhizomes—stored for use in 2009
9. Total Phosphorus Content of Wisconsin Soils—Best hop soils are Silt Loam and Sandy in Northern and Central Wisc…
10. Moisture Content In Soils and Pruning Is Important To Growing Hops In Wisc.
11. Best growing hop varieties in Wisconsin are as follows:
12. Harvesting of Hop Fields Are Key To Successful Growers of Hops In Wisc…
14. Harvesting hops is labor-intensive and very costly for growers Therefore, the initial game plan was for the Wisc. Brewers Guild Co-op to obtain a Gov’t Grant from the DATCP and purchase a portable harvester that all growers could
use to harvest their hop yields
15. Cascade hops are high in demand and yet seem to be the “prize” Wisconsin Craft Brewers are looking for.
Indigenous hops like these offer Wisconsin Brewers unlimited marketing opportunities!
16. Where Do We Go From Here?
17. Summary—Hops In WI Based on preliminary data, growing Hops in Wisconsin can be accomplished with a little TLC.
Yields by hop variety won’t be fully known until years 2009 and 2010.
Targeting high phosphorus soils, with high moisture content, and plenty of sunlight on top of ridges, is critical in the grower planning stage.
Growers need better participation from more Wisconsin Craft Brewers to guarantee a stable market.
Wisconsin Brewers Guild Co-op needs to secure a grant for expensive harvesting equipment.
Due to a increase in grower interest, hop pelletization equipment must be secured to handle rising supply expected in 2009 and 2010.