Hops Page

This page is dedicated to hops production and resources.  If you have any suggestions of information that you would like to see on this page, please contact me.  

There has been a lot of buzz around the production of hops in western North Carolina lately.  While many of us recognize the end product of hops, flavorful and bitter beer or herbal remedies, we are less familiar with what the plant looks like and how it is produced.

The hop plant, Humulus lupulus, is a member of the plant family Cannabaceae, known for its popular family member Cannabis.  Hop plants are bines that produce annual stems from perennial root systems known as rhizomes.  The bines grow to a length of 18 to 25 feet.  Unlike vines, the bines do not produce tendrils, but rather prickly hairs and climb by turning clockwise as they grow up a trellis.  Hop plants are herbaceous perennials meaning that the bines die down each year in the Winter, but arise each Spring from hardy crowns.  The hops rhizomes may explore the soil to a depth of 15 feet.  Hops plants are propagated from cuttings from the rhizomes.

Hops producers typically buy and cultivate female bines only.   The female flowers form pale green, cone-like structures that are 1 to 4 inches long.  The papery scales of the cone turn yellowish when ripe.  Inside the cones are the lupulin glands, small yellow organs that resemble pollen.  These glands contain the essential oils, alpha and beta acids, that provide the bitterness and flavoring properties important in crafting beer. 

Hops are also produced for herbal and medicinal purposes to aid in the treatment of insomnia and other ailments including nervous stomachs.

Hops Posts from WNC Vegetable and Small Fruits News
Hops Posts from NC Alternative Crops and Organics Blog

Information from the Hops Course at AB Tech (April 2010)

Resources from this event were posted on a Google Site.  Click here to find information on the following topics and more:
  • Hop Variety Profiles
  • Hops Disease and Insect Notes
  • Budget Information
  • Trellis Systems
  • Nutrient Management
Information from the Hops Course at AB Tech (February 2012)
Disease Fact Sheets from Oregon State University

** In February 2011 the OSU Disease Notes web site suffered a catastrophic crash.  When the below links become restored, this site will be updated.**
Hops Production Resources
More Hops Resources