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Craft beer boom reignites Michigan’s hops industry

Feb 14, 2017

As Michigan's brewing industry continues to grow and flourish, we're seeing a big jump in growing hops in our state.

Consider this: Prior to 2008, Michigan hadn't had a commercial hops-growing operation for more than a century. Now, we're fourth in the nation.

Rob Sirrine, a senior extension educator at Michigan State University, joined Stateside to talk about the revival of Michigan's hops industry.

How are hops used in brewing?

"There's two different types of hops and dual-purpose hops," Sirrine said. "Hops are used in brewing for their bittering aspect and then also for their aroma. And then you have dual purpose-hops that do a little bit of both."

Hops have been grown in Michigan as far back as the mid-1800s, but the industry died out. Over the last decade, it's seen a big revival.

"The whole craft beer movement has really kicked off the supply side, raw materials side, which has been a boon to Michigan growers as they have invested in that industry," Sirrine said.

Listen to the full interview above to hear about the history of hops in this country, and learn what it takes to put together a hops growing operation in Michigan.

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