Today, craft beer sales make up more than 12 percent of the U.S. beer market and are expected to increase over the next five years. With craft brewers using generous amounts of hops of all kinds, there is an increased demand for cool, new hop varieties every year. And the flavor and aroma profiles are ever expanding, thanks to our hop breeding programs.
Breeding new hops is a long, complex process that, as you can imagine, creates much anticipation for brewers, craft beer aficionados, and hop enthusiasts alike. Each new variety is the culmination of many years’ work, and only a few hop varieties reach commercial markets each year, adding to the excitement — and have hop breeders thinking years ahead.