Washington state’s Yakima Valley is home to one of the most fertile and productive hop growing regions in the world. The hot and cool desert climate, combined with the abundant irrigation provided by the Yakima River, creates an ideal environment for producing this key beer ingredient.
The valley is divided into three distinct growing areas: the Moxee Valley, the Yakama Indian Reservation and the Lower Yakima Valley. And each of these areas, although no more than 50 miles apart, possesses unique growing conditions.
The Home of the Hops
The Yakima Valley contains approximately 75 percent of the total United States hop acreage, with an average farm size of 450 acres (182 hectares) accounting for over 77 percent of the total United States hop crop. Most hop farms in Washington are third or fourth generation family operations that have now diversified into other crops as well. Most hop growers also grow fruit, but some grow mint, grapes and even row crops. Typically, a Washington hop grower will raise a combination of both aroma and alpha variety hops. The majority of the hops produced in Washington however are alpha and super alpha varieties. As we begin the 21st century, important Washington aroma varieties include Willamette, Cascade, and Mt. Hood. Alpha varieties include Columbus/Tomahawk, Zeus, Nugget, and Galena, which when combined account for over half of the total Washington hop acreage. Learn more with the USA Hops Variety Brochure
2015 North American Commercial Hop Production
Washington - 32,205 acres (70.8%)
Oregon - 6,807 acres (15%)
Idaho - 4,975 acres (10.9%)
Other States - 1,244 acres (2.7%)
Canada - 257 acres (0.6%)
Total - 45,488 acres
The majority of hops grown in Washington are alpha and super alpha varieties, although most Washington hop growers raise a variety of both aroma and alpha hops. Read more about hops with the USA Hops Variety Brochure
The Yakima Valley contains approximately 75 percent of the total hop acreage in the U.S., accounting for more than 77 percent of all U.S. production.