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Specialty Crops – Hops

This page exists to provide information on the Opportunities for Specialty Crops in Tennessee: Focus on Hops project which was made possible by funding from the USDA Agriculture Marketing Service through grant USDA-AMS-SCBG-2017.

Regional Hops Workshops

For Tennessee Farmers and Potential Hops Producers

Are you interested in learning about the potential for hops as a specialty crop in Tennessee? This workshop features specialists from the UT Institute of Agriculture who will discuss the production, economics, and marketing of hops.​

JOIN US

Seating is limited and preregistration is required. To reserve your seat, email or call the contact associated with the meeting you wish to attend.

October 10, 2019
Agricenter International, Memphis, TN
Contact: Hannah Wright
UT Extension, Agricultural and Resource Economics
865-974-1895 or hwrigh13@utk.edu​

* Preregistration is required by October 4th *

Regional Hops Workshops Flyer

Summary of Educational Information Presented to Regional Hops Workshops

UTIA Symposium on Hops

The increased interest in locally produced hops prompted a group from the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) to host a “hops” focused symposium on August 15, 2018.  There were 77 members of UTIA’s faculty and staff in attendance representing several departments. The symposium addressed the opportunities and challenges of production, marketing strategies, and the roles of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and UTIA/UT Extension. The symposium generated positive input and discussion for future research and outreach related to the crop.  Those on the program of the symposium included Dr. David Hughes, Dr. Aaron Smith and Ms. Hannah Wright from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics; Dr. David Lockwood and Dr. Dr. Eric Walker from the Department of Plant Sciences; Dr. Bruce Kirksey from Agricenter International; Rob Holland from the Center for Profitable Agriculture; Whitney Flatt and Mike Brown from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture; and Dr. Tim Cross, UTIA Chancellor.​​

Overview of Tennessee Specialty Crop Block Grant — Opportunities for Specialty Crops in Tennessee: Focus on Hops for Brewing
– Rob Holland

Thoughts on UTIA/Extension’s Role in Specialty Crops
– UTIA Chancellor Tim Cross

Thoughts on Production Trials at Ag Research and Education Centers
– Barry Sims

Opportunities and Collaborations with TDA for Hops Production
– Whitney Flatt

Update on Cost of Production and Marketing Opportunities
– David Hughes and Aaron Smith

Update on Production Opportunities
– Eric Walker

Agricenter International Hops Research
– Bruce Kirksey

Study Tour to Washington State

Five members of the UT Extension Hops Initiative participated in an on-site study tour of hops farms and hops processing enterprises in Washington State on June 23-25, 2019.  As part of this tour, two processors, two farms and Hop Growers of America were visited. A more detailed itinerary is presented in Table1.  The study tour was developed as part of the Opportunities for Specialty Crops in Tennessee: Focus on Hops project which was made possible by funding from the USDA Agriculture Marketing Service through grant USDA-AMS-SCBG-2017. 

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), hop acreage in the Pacific Northwest accounts for 70% of the total production in the U.S. The region grew 55,339 acres in 2018, up 4 percent from the 2017 crop of 53,282 acres. Washington State leads the region with 39,273 acres of hops. The intense climate of the Yakima Valley produces bold aromas that make it the premier growing region in the world.
​The following five members of the UT Extension Hops Initiative participated in the study tour:

  • Rob Holland, Center for Profitable Agriculture
  • David Hughes, UT Agricultural and Resource Economics
  • David Lockwood, UT Plant Sciences
  • Aaron Smith, UT Agricultural and Resource Economics
  • Hannah Wright, UT Agricultural and Resource Economics
UTIA delegation on hops study tour to Washington State

Additional information regarding this study tour can be obtained by contacting Rob Holland at 931-486-2777 or rwholland@utk.edu

Study Tour to New York State

Five members of the UT Extension Hops Initiative participated in an on-site study tour of hops farms and hops processing enterprises in New York State on August 15-16, 2019. As part of this tour, three farms and Cornell University were visited. A more detailed itinerary is included in Table 1. The study tour was developed as part of the Opportunities for Specialty Crops in Tennessee: Focus on Hops project which was made possible by funding from the USDA Agriculture Marketing Service through grant USDA-AMS-SCBG-2017.

Members of the Tennessee Tour Delegation:

The following five members of the UT Extension Hops Initiative participated in the study tour:

  • Zach Hansen, UT Entomology and Plant Pathology
  • David Hughes, UT Agriculture and Resource Economics
  • David Lockwood, UT Plant Sciences
  • Aaron Smith, UT Agriculture and Resource Economics
  • Eric Walker, UT Plant Sciences

Additional information regarding this study tour can be obtained by contacting Rob Holland at 931-486-2777 or rwholland@utk.edu.

Summary of Tennessee Craft Breweries Survey with Focus on Hops


David Hughes, Rob Holland, Sarah Elizabeth Best, S. Aaron Smith, and Edward Yu
Agricultural and Resource Economics and Center for Profitable Agriculture

A survey was conducted of 74 Tennessee Craft Breweries regarding their production practices (Best, 2019). For purposes of this analysis, key questions concerned their use of hops. Responses were received from 34 breweries (a response rate of 47%).

Brewers as a group showed strong to moderate interest in using Tennessee grown hops in a wet hop beer with 14 out of 30 respondents (46.7%) indicating a very strong interest while three additional brewers indicated a strong interest (Figure 1). Only three respondents showed no interest. Their interest in using dried or pelletized Tennessee hops was slightly less strong with 11 out of 30 respondents (36.7%) showed very strong interest while three had strong interest.

Interest in Purchasing Tennessee-grown Hops
Figure 1: Responses to “Please indicate your level of interest in the following with 1 as not interested at all and 5 as very interested: Purchasing Tennessee grown hops for wet-hops beer and purchasing Tennessee grown hops (dry or pelleted) for beer production”

Interest in using only pelletized hops may be limiting the use of Tennessee hops because like all nearby areas the state has no hop pelletizing facility. In respondent to the question “I am only interested in using pelletized hops”, six out of 30 respondents were in complete agreement while eleven out of 30 respondents where in strong agreement (Figure 2).

Frequency of Responses when asked whether respondents are only interested in using pelletized hops
Figure 2: Responses to “Please indicate your level of agreement with the following statement (1 indicating completely disagree and 5 indicating completely agree): “I am only interested in using pelletized hops””

In terms of actual hops use, on average 46 pounds of wet hops were used with the largest level of use at 500 pounds and 13 out of 29 respondents (44.8%) actually using wet hops. Average use in a dry or pelletized form was 2,301 pounds with maximum use at 16,500 pounds. While the variety and use of hops has an important influence on the nature of beer (such as level of bitterness and aromatic quality) hops make up a relatively small share of the brewery budget. Based on this survey data, Hughes et al. (2019) estimate that Tennessee craft breweries spent 3.36% of their revenue on dried hops (primarily in pellet form) and 0.14% on wet hops. These values are much smaller than spending on labor, malted barley, and bottling (cans and kegs).

Finally, responding breweries in general felt their business would experience marked growth over the next five years. This result implies a growing potential market for Tennessee hops. Among respondents, 17 out of 32 (53.1%) expected greater than 25% growth while nine (28.1%) expected 5% to 25% growth in sales (Figure 3).

Expected sales increase over next five years
Figure 3: Responses to “How much do you expect your sales to increase over the next five years?”

Publications

Author(s): Rob Holland | David Hughes | David Lockwood | Mark Morgan | Aaron Smith | Hannah Wright |

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Author(s): Rob Holland

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Author(s): Hannah Wright

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Author(s): David Hughes | Rob Holland | David Lockwood | Eric Walker | Hannah Wright | Aaron Smith |

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Author(s): David Hughes | Rob Holland | Sarah Elizabeth Best | Aaron Smith | Edward Yu |

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Author(s): Rob Holland | Nathan Miller | David Hughes | Mike Brown | Hannah Wright |

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Author(s): Rob Holland | David Hughes | David Lockwood | Eric Walker | Hannah Wright | Aaron Smith |

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Author(s): Rob Holland

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Author(s): Whitney Flatt

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Author(s): David Hughes | Aaron Smith

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