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3 Things I've Learned About Canadian Hops

Photo by Ryan Bruce, used with permission via Burst photos. 


Here are three things I’ve learned while looking into the Canadian Hops Industry- other than it’s difficult to find recent statistics:

1) In a 2009 survey by the Ontario Craft Brewers, the top five hops brewers were interested in purchasing were, by order of interest:

  • Hallertauer
  • Cascade
  • Sterling
  • Saazer
  • Nugget

See the full list here:
Could not find an update to the survey, but fairly certain it would look very different today. 

2) The number of hop farms in Ontario was growing at a fairly rapid pace over the past decade. In annual survey’s by Ontario Beverage Net ( the number of active farms were jumped from 40 in 2015 to 60 in 2016, the last year that the report is available. Largely in response to local brewer interest -95% of surveyed brewers were interested in using local hops.

3) According to research published in 2015 by Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia, hop farms can become profitable on a yearly basis in year two of operations ( Total costs average about $16,000 CAD annually.

Bonus fact I learned along the way: Harvesting hops by hand takes about an hour per mature bine for a single person. Considering that farms are planted at densities of 800 to 1,500 plants per acre, commercial production without a mechanical harvester of some kind is very, very difficult.


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