Although people don’t have direct control over the weather or climate changes, experts have picked out a few ways to maintain hops production. For instance, as recently as 2021, the FOR HOPS initiative developed hops-specific sensors that can keep farmers up-to-date on soil conditions. If sensors say the soil is too dry for hops to grow successfully, farmers can quickly give the plants the water they need.
Similarly, others have experimented with growing hops in cooler regions with increased rainfall, thus lowering the risk of detrimentally high temperatures and drought. Still others are breeding new hops varieties that are more resilient against weather changes and other common crop issues. The Latitude 46 group in Washington, for example, is currently working on disease-resistant plants.
In the meantime, many hops farms are expanding their acreage to account for decreased crop yield, some by as much as 20%. Just some potential industry changes for you to keep in mind as you’re taking another sip of beer.