Beer

Washington State Department of Agriculture / Flickr

Idaho and the rest of the northwest are growing more hops this year.

The number of acres of hops went up again this year in Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The three-state area is forecast to grow a record 55,000 acres. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that’s 4 percent more than last year’s record bumper crop.

ERIN COLONNA / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

Hops are the bitter, piney flower of the hop plant, and when fermented with malted barley and water, they create beer. Ninety-eight percent of hop cultivation takes place in the Northwest and Idaho just surpassed Oregon to become the second-largest producer of hops.

  • The state of the state's educational funding.
  • Efforts to draw down the cost of childcare.
  • Idaho surpasses Oregon to become #2 producer of hops.
  • Folk music legends The Kingston Trio visit the Treasure Valley.

Scuddr / Flickr

The Trump Administration announced it’s allowing stiff tariffs to go into effect on steel and aluminum from Mexico and the European Union. With Idaho’s growing beer scene, the move is getting mixed responses from brewers.

Erin Colonna / Flickr Creative Commons

When it comes to hop farming, the Pacific Northwest is king. Washington State leads the pack but Idaho eclipsed Oregon in 2017.

screenshot / Brewers Association

The Idaho craft beer industry has exploded in recent years. Between 2011 and 2016, the number of craft barrels produced in the state more than tripled. (For reference: A barrel is equal to two kegs.)

Clairvoyant Brewing

On a recent winter afternoon, Mike Francis stood on the brew deck at Payette Brewing Company in Boise. He pointed to four large stainless steel vessels surrounding him.


Dave Shea / Flickr Creative Commons

Despite a proliferation of craft beers in the U.S., it turns out there is a surplus of one of the main ingredients: hops.

Dave Shea / Flickr Creative Commons

Although neighboring states like Oregon and Washington may be better known for their craft beers, the Idaho beer industry is budding. One important ingredient is grown in the Gem State: hops.

The bitter ingredient is loved among craft-beer enthusiasts, and many popular hoppy beers are made possible by harvests from the Yakima, Washington area.

But DJ Tolmie -- who has been in the Idaho hop business for a while -- says the state has a lot of potential.

Rae Allen / Flickr

The founders of a Bend craft brewery that's being sold to Anheuser-Busch are promising "business as usual."

But the sale of 10 Barrel Brewing Co. is causing ripples in the lively Central Oregon craft beer trade.

The Bend Bulletin reports reaction among fellow brewers ranging from well-wishing to a lament that the deal felt like a family member had died.

10 Barrel co-founder Jeremy Cox says key managers will remain in place, including his brother, Chris, overseeing the brewery.

beer tap, bar, alcohol
Marissa Anderson / Flickr Creative Commons

The Idaho Barley Commission estimates about 40 percent of this year's barley crop was damaged by rain, but that bad crop is unlikely to affect craft beer prices in the near term. Rain-saturated barley crops in other top producing states like Montana and North Dakota haven't fared much better.

Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr Creative Commons

Just in time for the holiday weekend, the U.S. Census Bureau confirmed Idaho's love of beer.

New data show a national surge in breweries between 2007-2012, with the number more than doubling from 398 to 869. New jobs were created in the industry despite the Great Recession, and shipments of the cold brews climbed more than 33 percent in the five-year span.

Northwest farmers are wrapping up this year’s hop harvest at a time when the craft beer industry is seeing huge growth.

For Northwest Brewers, 'It's (Still) The Water'

Feb 22, 2013
Amelia Templeton / EarthFix

Across the Northwest, home brewers and microbreweries enjoy the best local ingredients. Hops from the Willamette Valley. Barley from Washington. But there’s one ingredient that is often overlooked: the water. 

How Cheatgrass Could Soon Be In Your Pint Glass

Sep 28, 2012
TurasPhoto / Flickr

Much of the acreage lost to wildfires in Idaho and the West this year means miles and miles of land opened up to cheatgrass.

For ranchers, this invasive species spreads quickly and requires time and resources to remove.

So what can ranchers do? How about making beer?  Home brewer Tye Morgan explains why cheatgrass is the perfect ingredient for beer.