Booze News: Wisconsin Hops Keep Clawing Back

Locally-grown hops have made their way into Wisconsin beers recently. Lakefront, for example, makes much of the fact that all of the ingredients, including hops, in its Wisconsinite are Sconnie-sourced. The local hop trend continues up nort’… Amherst, to be precise:

Five Wisconsin breweries plan to quickly take advantage of wet hops, fresh of the vine…

“To help keep Wisconsin farms and breweries, all that money in the state to help the local economy,” Central Waters Brewing Company president Paul Graham said.

Hops have long been associted with the Pacific Northwest, but Wisconsin actually had a thriving hop crop back in the 19th century. Gorst Valley Hops has a nice capsule history:

Commercially produced hops were first introduced into Waukesha county around 1837, most likely by farm hands from New York who brought their root stock with them. In 1842 the first hop farms appeared in Sauk County, which would become the heart of the hops industry with Kilbourn City (now Wisconsin Dells) as the processing hub… In 1860, Wisconsin produced 135,000 lbs of hops. By 1867, the state’s production was over 6 million pounds.

For more on the Amherst hop harvest (including video), check out WAOW.com.