History of East Coast Hops

Hops are native to the temperate new world. New species were introduced by Europeans and an industry grew around Cooperstown, New York, which became the center of U.S. hop production in the 19th century. A series of disease blights and the enaction of prohibition finished the hop yards in the Northeast. When brewing picked up again after the repeal of prohibition, the hop industry had moved to the Pacific Northwest in search of drier climes. Currently, almost all U.S. hop production comes from the Northwestern United States. However, with the growth of local breweries over the last 20 years, there is a small but steady movement of hop cultivation returning eastwards. In Connecticut today there are almost 40 breweries, making spectacular beer of many styles, almost exclusively using hops imported from the big growers in the Northwest and Europe. It’s time to revive a once thriving industry and grow premium hops in the Northeast once again.