PNW Crop Report: October 2019
The 2019 Pacific Northwest hop harvest is officially over as the crop is either in cold storage or various stages of processing and shipping on its way to brew kettles across the planet. Weather cooperated for most of the harvest although a freak storm just prior to harvest lowered yield expectations in some key varieties such as Mosaic®. Late season rain was a factor in slowing harvest in Oregon and an early frost in Washington caused some concern, although neither significantly affected yields or quality.
As reported earlier, late season snow prevented growers in the Yakima Valley from getting onto their fields until late March which was one of several contributing factors to a poor baby hop crop in Washington. Mature crop yields across the PNW in Simcoe® and Citra® helped make up the difference in volume and quality was excellent across most varieties.
The Centennial crop was better than normal with yields averaging 1,500 pounds per acre over the three states. Cascades were a mixed bag on yields, but quality was exceptional. Most Cashmere growers were happy with their yields as this variety continues to gain traction in the marketplace. Magnum yields were a bit lower than expected but Willamette yields in Oregon were slightly above the five-year average. Chinook yields were at or slightly above average.
Alpha acid readings in earlier picked aroma varieties were at or slightly above average while later picked alpha hops experienced slightly below to significantly below 5-year average analyses. Yields on alpha hops were average at best and disappointing on some farms.
Sabro® yields exceeded expectation while overall Mosaic® yields were slightly lower than expected. The cool summer and extended bloom period contributed to slightly elevated seed content in a few areas, but overall quality was excellent. The 2019 crop hops from the PNW should contribute to some great beers once they find their way to brew kettles. Plans are already underway to meet customer expectations for the 2020 crop.