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Hop Harvest 2023: Inching Toward Equilibrium

While the numbers are far from final, there were modest steps toward rebalancing the market for U.S. aroma hops. Centennial and Simcoe had a rough year, while rain helped Germany and Czechia avoid a second consecutive disastrous harvest.

Stan Hieronymus Sep 11, 2023 - 11 min read

Hop Harvest 2023: Inching Toward Equilibrium Primary Image

Photo: Stan Hieronymus

In the Yakima Valley, harvest started early this year. It started late in Germany. In Oregon’s Willamette Valley, across from the Benedictine Brewery at Mount Angel Abbey, a field that previously produced Simcoe hops sat empty—just several among 5,000-plus Pacific Northwest acres that were idled in 2023. Blame the weather. Blame an out-of-balance hop market.

Every harvest, events occur to add a bit of drama and knock things briefly out of sync—such the 24 acres of Cascade hops at Goschie Farms in Oregon taken down by heavy rain. (It took two crews four days to salvage the hops while minimizing the damage; the night crew worked days, and workers used forklifts to raise trellises, sometimes cut the bines by hand.)

Yet by the time most brewers arrived to select hops, drink fresh-hop beers, and ask what’s new, not much looked different.

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