Northwest farmers are working with researchers to discover new ways to grow hops organically.
Last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture ruled that brewers who label their beer as organic must use organic hops beginning in 2013.
Some say the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new rule could force organic craft brewers to tweak longtime recipes. Others believe the change will spark even more creativity among producers of organic beer, an industry that continues to gain speed.
“The organic beer market is still relatively small, but it’s definitely catching on,” said Ronnie Cummins, national director of the Organic Consumers Association, a nonprofit that promotes organic goods. “Just like a few years ago, organic cosmetics and body products were a niche. Across the board, whether it’s pet food or whatever kind of consumer product, there’s increasing demand.”
The U.S. is the world’s second largest producer of hops, behind Germany, with more than a quarter of the world crop. Most are grown in the Northwest — where the craft beer movement hatched.
Read more at The Bulletin.