Most hops grown in the United States come from the Pacific Northwest, but researchers are looking into Nebraska’s ability to grow the beer ingredient.
Stacy Adams, associate professor of practice in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Agronomy Department, says he has been growing some hops on campus the past few years.
That will expand to Norfolk, Scottsbluff, Sutton, and Valparaiso, and the focus will be on consistency.
“If we’re going to have a viable crop that’s profitable for these specialty crop growers, we have to have a market for it,” Adams tells Nebraska Radio Network. “The only way to be marketable, is that if you grow hops, it has to be consistent from year to year to year to year.”
The test plots will include eight hop varieties: Centennial, Chinook, Crystal, Pearl, Willamette, Columbia, Cluster, and Zeus.
Adams says if yields and quality are consistent, hops should be a profitable specialty crop.
“My understanding is the brewers would really jump on the chance to get local hops,” he says.