Independent brewers to fund USDA research on disease-resistant hops

To assure a "truly local pint," a trade group for small and independent brewers announced an agreement with USDA's Agricultural Research Service to fund the breeding of a disease-resistant hop cultivar that will be freely available. The trade group Brewers Association says the goal is to ensure "all growers have access to high quality, disease-resistant cultivars they need to sustain production at levels required by brewers."

Craft brewers’ supply of hops squeezed by a brewery giant

Anheuser-Busch InBev, the largest beer producer in the world, is taking another shot at the American craft brewing industry, this time by cornering the market on some key ingredients independent brewers need to make quality beer. The company last week announced that they would no longer be exporting hops from their South African hop farms to U.S. craft brewers, as promised, and would instead be redirecting the hops toward their own in-house brands.

Larger hops plantings offset drought, but yields may suffer

Despite drought in the Pacific Northwest, hops growers expect to harvest 74.5 million pounds of the flowering, climbing plant used to provide the bitter taste of beer, says KIMA-TV in Yakima. That would be a 5-percent increase in production from last year.