JOHNSONVILLE, N.Y. (AP) — Once the center of hop production for America’s breweries, New York state is seeing a rebirth of hop farming to satisfy a growing demand for regional craft beers and homemade brews.
Hop-farming was highly profitable in New York state in the 19th century, with 90 percent of all American hops coming from central New York.
The business collapsed as a result of outbreaks of blue mold and aphids. Then along came Prohibition. The industry then relocated to the Northwest, where the climate make disease less likely.
About 10 years ago, the Northeast Hop Alliance was founded to foster a rebirth of the industry here.
According to the Brewers Association, there were more than 1,700 craft breweries in operation nationwide in 2010, the most since the late 1800s.