Did you know?
Idaho is ranked #2 for hops production in the United States, and raises a large number of different hops varieties. The majority of Idaho hops are grown in the Southwest part of the state around Wilder, but some are grown in the cool, moist air near Bonners Ferry. The history of hops grown in Idaho dates back to the 1930’s.
Hops are perennial plants, with sticky hairs used to climb and attach to a string tied to a wire above. These 18′ tall plants are called “bines”. Hops are a dioecious species, meaning the male and female plants are grown separately. Male plants are only used for breeding. Female plants are harvested annually, dried, cooled, and compressed into a bale.
More Facts About Idaho Hops
In the Pacific Northwest hops are used on occasion for “fresh” brews, bypassing the dryer and baling process on the farm and going directly into the boil, whirlpool, or mash at the brewery. The American style bales leave the farm weighing around 200 pounds each; they are then processed into pellets and stored in cold storage for later use by brewers around the world.