Hop production was common throughout the Northeast in the 1800s. However, today most hop production occurs in the Pacific Northwest. Renewed interest and demand for local hops is breathing new life into an otherwise “historical” crop. To increase hops production in the Northeast, the UVM Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Team is developing an outreach and applied research program for hops. Public interest in sourcing local foods also extends into beverages, and craft brewing is on the rise in conjunction with the expanding market. The Northeast Hop Alliance, in association with Cornell University, conducted a survey in 2002 which reported that the majority of breweries would be willing to pay a premium of 5 to 10% for regional hops. The expanding craft brewing market and the strength of the localvore movement have outlined a need to investigate the viability for hops production in the area. We received an USDA Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative grant in partnership with Washington State University, Colorado State University, and Michigan State University with a goal of developing organic hop agronomic practices and recommendations. We have also received funds for our research through the Vermont Brewers Association, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, and the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources Specialty Crops Program to support our work. The Vermont Agricultural Innovations Center has also been a key partner in enabling a lot of our outreach programs. The blueprints to these designs are publicly available on farmhack.org. The Northeast IPM Center has also been a partner in the development of integrated pest management practices in hopyards. We continue to work toward discovering the most viable varieties for both organic and conventional hops production in our region. Ultimately, we hope to find cultivars that combine disease resistance, high yields, and desirable brewing attributes. We are also investigating various fertility and pest management strategies for organic hop production. Check back here frequently for more information and updates, and subscribe to our hops blog!
2015 Hop Research Reports
2014 Hop Research Reports
Hops Quality Analysis
We want to thank everyone for supporting the UVM Hop Quality Testing Laboratory!
At this time, we have one test available for Brewing Values (BV’s) which determines Alpha acids, Beta acids and Hop Storage Index (HSI). Click here for the Hops Analysis Submission Form to submit a sample. Please make sure all samples sent are dried properly and are not more than 8-10% moisture as we will not be able to conduct the testing.
Bulletins, Research Reports, and Online Tools
- 2013 Organic Hop Variety Trial: Results from Year Three (pdf)
- Cost of Growing Hops in the Northeast (pdf)
- Cost of Growing Hops in the Northeast Worksheet (Excel)
- Eastern Comma Butterfly
- Fertility Guidelines in the Northeast (pdf)
- Hop Aphid in Northeast Hopyards
- Hop Feasibility Study (pdf)
- Hop Harvest Moisture Calculator (online tool) Also available as an Excel spreadsheet
- Hop Harvest Timing in the Northeast
- Japanese Beetles (pdf)
- Managing Downy Mildew (pdf)
- Managing Powdery Mildew (pdf)
- Nitrogen Management in Hops (pdf)
- Organic Fungicides and Hops (pdf)
- Potato Leafhopper (pdf)
- Spider Mite Destroyers and Spined Solider Bugs
- Two-Spotted Spider Mites (pdf)
- Hops Insect Cheat Sheet (pdf)
- Hops Recordkeeping Diary (pdf)
2015 Vermont Hop Conference (February 20, 2015)
As mentioned at the 2015 Hop Conference by Steve Polewacyk from Vermont Pub and Brewery, you can access the Hop Evaluation Excel sheet here.
Proceedings from the 6th Annual Vermont Hop Conference are now available online. The online proceedings include video recordings and PDFs of all conference presentations. They can be accessed for a one-time fee of $35 at eXtension’s Online campus at:http://campus.extension.org. If you have not yet been to this site, you will need to create an account. To do so, on the left bar under “Login,” click on “Create new account.” You will need to complete some basic information and confirm your account via email. Once you have created an account, you may enroll in the proceedings by going tohttp://campus.extension.org/course/view.php?id=1131. You will enter your payment into eXtension’s PayPal system.
2014 Vermont Hops Conference (February 27, 2014)
Online proceedings for the the 5th Annual Vermont Hops Conference are available for $25 and include both video recordings and PDFs of all presentations. The proceedings are housed at eXtension’s Online campus at: http://campus.extension.org. If you have not yet been to this site, you will need to create an account. To do so, on the left bar under “Login,” click on “Create new account.” You will need to complete some basic information and confirm your account via email. Once you have created an account, you may enroll in the proceedings by going to http://campus.extension.org/course/view.php?id=986. You will enter your payment into eXtension’s PayPal system.
2013 Winter Hops Conference (February 22, 2013)
- UVM Research Update: Dr. Heather Darby, Rosalie Madden, and Scott Lewins (pdf of slides)
- Hop Cover Cropping: Lily Calderwood, UVM (pdf of slides)
- Solar Hop and Herb Drying Greenhouse System: Rich Andrews, Boulder Innovative Technologies, Boulder, CO (pdf of slides)
- Effectiveness of Irrigation and Cover Cropping to Produce Sustainable Hops: Krista Delahunty and Jason Johnston, Aroostook Hops, Westfield, ME (pdf of slides)
- Gowing Hops–Fertility, Water, and Pest Management: Graham Ollard, Agrimanagement, Yakima, WA (pdf of slides)
2012 Winter Hops Conference (March 19, 2012)
- Addison Hop Farm, Statistics and Costs from 2011: Kris Anderson, Addison Hop Farm, Addison VT (pdf of slides)
- Trial Low Trellis Hop Yard: Ron Brennan, Leap of Faith Farms, Williamstown, ON (pdf of slides)
- Mobile Hop Picker: Chris Callahan, UVM Extension (pdf of slides)
- Organic Hop Yield and Quality in the Northeast: Heather Darby and Rosalie Madden, UVM Extension (pdf of slides)
- What’s Wrong with My Hops Plants?: Ann Hazelrigg, UVM Extension (pdf of slides)
- Hops Baler: Ian Pfeiffer and Brian Pinan, UVM Students (pdf of slides)
- Building an Oast: Roger Rainville, Borderview Farm, Alburgh, VT (pdf of slides)
2011 Winter Hops Conference (February 18, 2011)
- Low-Trellis Systems: John Henning, USDA-ARS (pdf of slides)
- USDA-ARS Hop Breeding and Genetics Program: John Henning, USDA-ARS (pdf of slides)
- Brewers Panel Introduction: Mark Magiera, Bobcat Cafe & Brewery, Bristol, VT (pdf of slides)
- Brewers Panel Discussion (pdf of slides)
- Building a Hopyard: Roger Rainville, Borderview Farm, Alburgh, VT (pdf of slides)
- Recording of Roger’s presentation (YouTube)
2010 Winter Hops Conference: Hopping To It! (March 26, 2010)
- Hop Botany, Cultivation, and Breeding: Jason Perrault, Perrault Farms, Inc., Yakima, WA (pdf of slides)
- Hop Trellising and Budgets by Edward Page, through Ron Godin’s site at Colorado State (Great pictures)
- Hopyard Construction: Budgeting and Economics by Edward Page and Ron Godin (Similar to the above, except with Year 3 results from the low-trellis trials)
- Simple Earth Hops, WI – Trellising Hardware Information
- University of Minnesota has been doing research on low-trellis vs. high-trellis hopyards. Find out more about their work here. Also includes a Trellis Cost Calculator!
- Potential sources of wooden hop poles
- Watch Roger Rainville construct the UVM Extension research hopyard on YouTube!
- Borderview Farm hopyard construction costs
- Brookdale Fruit Farm, Irrigation and Row Crop Supplies
- Erigging Supply
- Fehr Bros. Industries, Inc.
- Gorst Valley Hops
- Safeland Industrial Supply
- Watch UVM Extension’s YouTube video on setting up irrigation in your hopyard!
- Irrigation parts list from the UVM Extension hopyard
- Aroostook Hops in Maine received a Northeast SARE Farmer Grant. Their findings on the importance of irrigation in a Northeastern hopyard are well worth a read!
Rhizomes — Wholesale
- Aroostook Hops, Westfield, ME (Certified Organic)
- Blue Ridge Hops, Marshall, NC
- Crosby Hop Farm, Woodburn, OR
- Foothill Hops, Munnsville, NY
- Freshops, Philomath, OR
- Gorst Valley Hops, Mazomanie, WI
- Left Fields Farm, Sorrento, BC (Only ships within Canada)
- Northwest Hops, Hubbard, OR
- Organarchy Hops, Oldtown, MD (certified organic)
- RNV Enterprises, Yakima, WA
- Summit Plant Labs, Fort Collins, CO (hop plugs)
- Sunnybrook Farm, Middlesex, VT
- Thyme Garden Herb Company, Alsea, OR
- US Hop Source, Denver, CO 970-497-0691970-497-0691 (Indexed virus free Cascade)
Rhizomes — Home Growers
- See bulletins above
- Pest scouting video with Scott Lewins and Savanna Kittell-Mitchell
- Field Guide for Integrated Pest Management in Hops (from Washington State University)
- Hop Pest Management (University of Idaho)
- Hop Disease Index (Oregon State University Extension)
- Insects in Hops by N.L. Rothwell (Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Station)
- Order “Compendium of Hop Diseases and Pests” from the American Phytopathological Society
- View our Modular Hop Oast Factsheet for general information on the Hop Dryer.
- View our Mobile Hop Harvester Factsheet for general information on the Hop Harvester.
- Check out Farmhack.org for blueprints for a small-scale harvester, small-scale balers, and a small-scale oast!
- Watch UVM Extension’s YouTube video on determining hop harvest moisture and ideal storage dry matter!
- Determining Hop Dry Matter (from Oregon Hop Commission)
- Hop Harvest Readiness blog post from What’s Hoppening, UVM Extension’s hops blog
- UVM Extension’s Hop Harvest Moisture Calculator (online tool)
- UVM Extension’s Hop Harvest Moisture Calculator (.xlsx)
- Solar hops dryer designed by Richard Andrews as part of the Colorado State University’s Specialty Crops Program
General Hoppy Information
- Growing Hops in Vermont Discussion Group
- Hop – Alternative Field Crops Manual (from Purdue University)
- Hops Fertilizer Guide (Oregon State University Extension Service)
- Hops TV from Hops Direct
- Small-Scale and Organic Hops Manual (from Crannog Ales)
- Sustainable Hop Production in the Great Lakes Region (from Michigan State University Extension)
- University of Vermont Hops Information by Leonard Perry
- USDA Hops Website
Organizations of Note
- American Organic Hop Grower Association
- Hop Growers of America
- Massachusetts Brewers Guild
- Michigan Hop Alliance
- Northeast Hop Alliance
- Oregon Hop Commission
See our Hop Equipment page for information on the following small-scale hop equipment:
- mobile harvester
- hop balers