oregon hopsHops are an important ingredient in adding flavor and aroma to beer and is a popular topic among point of craft beer brewers and connoisseurs. Hops are the flower of vine that is boiled in with other components during brewing to add bitterness, flavor, and aroma and hops grown in Oregon are some of the most sought after and unique hops in the world.

Oregon is the second largest hop producing state in the United States, producing nearly the entire U.S. supply and 30% of the world’s supply of hops. Oregon hops grow exclusively in the Willamette Valley, an area very similar to Germany’s hop-growing regions in both appearance and climate, both regions located in the 45th parallel. The Willamette Valley’s rich soil, mild climate, and abundant rainfall provide the ideal condition for hop production and the moderate temperatures during the growing season are particularly favored by high-quality aroma-type hops and several alpha-type varieties.

Oregon hop-farming is not only plentiful, it is deeply-rooted. Hop farming has a rich history in Oregon. The plant was first introduced in the 1850s, and by the late 1860s, it was being grown commercially. A majority of growers today are third or fourth generation growers and many hop farms have been passed down through families from generation to generation.

Hop plants are usually planted in the spring and the climbing vines end up growing more than 18 feet throughout the growing season. During the summer months, the hops receive regular management including weed control, pest management, and irrigation. Each variety of hops reaches maturity at a different time, but most harvest begins in August and runs through early October. After packaging, the hop cones are sent to brewers all over the world to use in their brews.

Oregon produces a large variety of hops, a majority of them being aroma hops versus bitter hops which were more popular in American beer until about 20 years ago. Oregon’s aroma hops, however, are unique among even other aroma hops which usually have a flowery smell. Oregon hops have a distinct citrus smell that makes them popular and in high-demand all over the world. Some of the most popular Oregon hop varieties include the Cascade, an aroma hop often used in Pale Ales and IPAs, Nugget Hops, a dual-purpose aroma and bittering hop often used in stouts and ales, and the Willamette Hops, often called the King of Aroma Hops and is one of the most popular hop varieties in the United States!

Oregon hops are some of the most popular and highest quality hops in the United States and in the world. The concentration of dedicated hop farmers and passionate craft brewers in Oregon makes the state a worldwide known hub of great craft beer.

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