Research on hops production in Florida continues to grow, allowing new opportunities for agriculturists and breweries.
Brian Pearson, University of Florida assistant professor of landscape, ornamental and protected crop management in the Department of Environmental Horticulture, says his team began researching hops in 2012. Work will potentially continue for another three to four years.
“Many believed that hops production was not possible due to high temperature coupled with pest and disease pressures found in the subtropical southeastern United States,” says Pearson.
Pearson says the research team has been able to identify what helps hops flourish, as well as what pests may hinder growth.
“Production of hops in Florida allows agricultural producers the opportunity to diversify the crops they cultivate,” says Pearson.
Hops are used in the process of creating beer, and many Florida breweries are interested in having an entirely local beer. According to Pearson, the hops grown in Florida have a taste that is unique from hops grown elsewhere.
Washington, Oregon and Idaho combined make up 98 percent of the U.S. hops production. In 2015, the U.S. was responsible for 41 percent of hops production in the world, compared to Germany, which produced 33 percent, according to Pearson.
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