Did you know that Ohio ranks 4th among the states in craft beer production? With 50 new breweries opening in 2019, there are currently over 325 craft breweries as well as thousands of home brewers across Ohio. (per statistics published by the Ohio Craft Brewers Association) Each of their products proudly bears a local signature, but in most cases you’ll find lots of imported ingredients going into the mix.
The Ohio State University Extension estimates that Ohio beer manufacturers send over $4 million in hops purchases and related jobs out of Ohio by purchasing hops from out of state, mainly from Europe (England, France, Germany) and the Pacific Northwest. Not only is the money going out of state, it also doesn’t make much of a local flavor statement.
But the Ohio hops industry is quickly developing to offer a high-quality alternative to importing. As of 2019, Ohio hop growers have more than 100,000 hop plants in the ground, including over 30 hop varieties. Some 6,000 acres will be needed to replace the imports used today by Ohio manufacturers and home brewers.
Little Miami Farms is proud to be among the first hop growers to help launch the Ohio Hop Growers Guild (OHGG), which supports the increasing number of hop growers around Ohio, establishes quality and processing standards to ensure consistency of product, grower efficiency, and build awareness and demand for the high quality products of the Ohio hops industry.
If you are a brewer, please give Ohio hops a try – especially those sporting the OHGG Seal of Quality. If you drink local beer, please ask your local brewer to use Ohio hops in your favorite brew.