In much of the 1800s, hops were one of Vermont's largest agricultural crops. The state of Vermont was the second largest producer of hops in the U.S. after New York. According to the agricultural census of 1860, Vermont's biggest hop production year, the state produced 638,657 pounds of hops. To put that in perspective, it would take 372 acres in production at today's yields to produce that quantity of hops. Hop growers were forced to wind down their operations during prohibition, and the industry re-established itself in the Pacific Northwest. We are excited to be a part of the re-emergence of Vermont's hop industry! You can find these facts and much more information on the history of our state's hops and beer industry in Vermont Beer: History of a Brewing Revolution by Kurt Staudter and Adam Krakowski.
It's also an exciting time for hops on a national level. Craft beer production in the U.S. has more than tripled since 2007, and in that same time period, craft brewers increased their average use of hops in each barrel of beer by 72%! Speaking of people who like hops, Vermont is home to more brewers (and barrels of beer) per capita than any other state. Vermont brewers currently use enough hops to support more than 300 acres of hop production, yet our state only has about 25 acres currently in production. It's time to grow some more hops! For more info on Vermont's beer industry, check out these Brewer's Association statistics.