A growth in Microbreweries has brewers looking for the perfect hop. As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch explains:
“The boom in small-scale hop farming stems in part from the all-things-local ethos in today’s food culture, and the continuing interest in craft brewing. But many growers say they’re attempting to decentralize a hops industry long dominated by growers in the Pacific Northwest and Europe, where, combined, farmers grow about 80 percent of the world’s 120,000 hop acres.”
As a result, many farmers all over the country are jumping into the hop industry. Les Nydegger, 55, is one such farmer and a recent retiree from Anheuser-Busch. He cleared an acre of forest and started planting hops.
“We thought it would be a neat thing to do, especially for the craft brewers,” Nydegger said. “This is my chance to be a farmer.”