Hops (Humulus lupulus L.) play a crucial role in the beer making process. Within the female flowers, known as “cones,” there are lupulin glands containing alpha acids, beta acids, and essential oils, which provide bittering and unique aroma flavors to beer. Recent growth in the craft beer industry, a growing demand for locally sourced ingredients, and declining commodity crop prices, has created in increased interest in local hop production.

At present, the majority of hop production is in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. In the past 5 years, United States hop production has increased 72 percent, spreading growth to other states including New York and Michigan. As of June 2017, Nebraska has 39 strung acres of hops under production, which increased 15 acres since 2016; the United States, as of the 2017 hop harvest, has a total of 55,786 acres of hops under production. Total U.S. hop production increased from 88.6 million pounds to 106.2 million pounds between 2016 and 2017. Non-traditional growing regions’ hop production increased 25%. While the industry is small in Nebraska, it is growing rapidly. Efforts through University of Nebraska personnel in research and extension provide timely information to create successful farms and businesses in the state.

Stay up-to-date with Nebraska Hop Happenings

Subscribe to one or more of the following for the latest hop research, discussion, recommendations, and green industry events for hop growers.

Nebraska Hop Listserv

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Twitter and Facebook @UNLhops

Growing Hops In Nebraska

by Brandon McDermott | NET News

About 98 percent of the total amount of hops grown in the U.S. happens in the Pacific Northwest. Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is hoping to change that. A new study is looking at eight specific varieties of hops and attempting to grow them in Nebraska. Brandon McDermott interviews Stacy Adams, associate professor of practice in agronomy and horticulture and Katie Kreuser works directly with growers and brewers in Nebraska. Full story at http://bit.ly/2BLo6tV.

A freshly picked hop, split in two. (Photo courtesy Katie Kreuser)
A freshly picked hop, split in two. (Photo courtesy Katie Kreuser)

Nebraska research assists state’s craft brewing industry

by Troy Fedderson | University Communication

From field and lab to brew kettle and marketplace, research from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln is helping further the Cornhusker State’s burgeoning craft brewing industry.

In the field, Nebraska’s Stacy Adams is leading the charge, guiding a multi-year study to see if hops can be grown locally and if the resulting pinecone-like blooms are viable as a niche revenue crop for producers. The work is funded through a grant from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture. Full story at https://go.unl.edu/kw5p.

Aerial view of hops growing on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln's East Campus.
Aerial view of hops growing on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln's East Campus. Photo by Craig Chandler | University Communication

2019 Nebraska Grower and Brewer Conference & Trade Show

Nebraska Grower Brewer Conference 2019.

The 3rd annual Nebraska Grower and Brewer Conference and Trade Show will be held Sunday and Monday, January 13-14, 2019, at Embassy Suites – Downtown Lincoln. Ginger Johnson, connector, speaker, author, solutionist, marketer, and TEDx alum, will present the keynote address. She brings energy and enthusiasm to everything she does, including helping people to connect on purpose with a service mindset. Participants, be ready to hit the ground running in January!

The two-day event will feature a variety of sessions for hop growers, craft brewers, and those interested in directly supporting the industries. This event is sponsored by the University’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Nebraska Hop Growers Association, Nebraska Craft Brewers Guild and Midwest Hop Producers, LLC. For more information and to register or reserve your hotel room, visit www.growbrewnebraska.com/. Room reservations may be made through the conference block through December 23, 2018. Use the code: NGB. Follow along on our Facebook page.

Hops Potential, Great Plains Growers Conference & Trade Show

January 10-12, 2019
Fulkerson Center
Missouri Western State University
St. Joseph, MO

Great Plains Growers Conference  (GPGC) is a three-day conference featuring presentations by knowledgeable speakers from throughout the nation. The conference showcases educational information from Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska along with vegetable specialists and growers from those states.

THURSDAY PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP – Hops Potential

Hops are hot in the Midwest! Learn from experts from Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and Michigan how to design a hops yard, establish and produce hops, harvest and package the cones, and the economics of producing this specialty crop. The workshop will conclude with a tasting of different styles of beers, all flavored with hops.

Registration and information

2018 Workshops & Field Days

Harvest Demonstrations

So your hop cones are ready for harvest. Now what? Join Nebraska Extension for demonstrations and field days.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 17

Season Extension Seminar (PDF file)

University of Nebraska Panhandle Research & Extension Center

FRIDAY, AUGUST 24

Hop Harvest Readiness & Demonstration
University of Nebraska-Lincoln East Campus Hop Yard 

Introductory Hop Workshop

Friday, June 8, 4-6:30 pm
This workshop provided information on the cost of hop production, trellis design and set up, and basic information on hop agronomics, harvest, and post-harvest processing. A brewer from Blue Blood Brewing Company in Lincoln, NE discussed quality and demands of locally produced hops for their beers. 

Summer Field Days

For our summer field day events, Nebraska Extension and the Nebraska Hop Growers Association are teaming up to provide opportunities to see hop yards across Nebraska, for networking with others in the industry, and to hear important pest and hop yard management updates.

June Field Day – Homestead Hops

Waco, NE

Saturday, June 2, 8:30-10:30 am

July Field Day –  Oak Creek Hops & Thunderhead Brewing Co.

Kearney, NE

Saturday, July 21, 10 am – 12 pm

August Field Day – 6th Meridian Hops

Yankton, SD

Saturday, August 4

UNL Hops is teamed up with the South Dakota Specialty Producers Association & 6th Meridian Hops to present a Growing Hops Tour. 

Workshop in the Panhandle Research and Extension Center Hops Yard.
Workshop at the hop test plot at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center, Scottsbluff, NE.
Workshop in the East Campus Hops Yard.
Workshop in the East Campus Hops Yard.
Hops growing in the East Campus Hop Yard.
Hops growing in the East Campus Hop Yard.