Oregon is the second largest hop producing state in the United States. The hop-growing region of the state is exclusively located in Oregon's Willamette Valley. Both the appearance and climate is similar to that of Germany's hop-growing regions, and both are located on the 45th parallel. The valley lies between the Coast Range and Cascade Mountains and is one of the most productive agricultural areas in the world.
Hops are a vital aspect to the economy of the Pacific Northwest, producing nearly the entire U.S. supply and greater than 30% of the world’s supply. In 2013, Oregon hop production generated over $31 million in farm gate value from nearly 5,000 acres.
The hop plant is native to Europe, Asia, and North America. The first cultivation of hops in 736 A.D. can be traced to South Central Europe, presently in the areas of Bohemia, Slovenia, and Bavaria.
The Secret to the wonderful flavors in beer is the hop plant’s flower, called a cone. It resembles a pinecone in structure and shape, but the hop cone is smaller in size with delicate petals. A ripe cone is golden-green in color with bright yellow resin glands, called lupulin near its core. In addition to providing beer’s pleasant bitter flavor and aroma, it also enhances its clarity, foam stability, and is a natural preservative.