New York State is investing $300,000 into a hops breeding program through Cornell AgriTech.
Cornell AgriTech will grow hops varieties that are selected for high yield, preferred flavors and disease resistance in support of the state’s craft brewing industry.
The program is led by Larry Smart, a professor of horticulture in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The goal is to help overcome breeding and disease-management challenges.
While the craft brewing industry continues to expand in the state, establishments can only receive licensing if no less than 60% of all hops and 60% of all other ingredients are grown in the state. Breweries struggle with this due to the lack of different varieties in hops which is in high demand and what the public wants.
The program is likely to take several years, but the goal of finding new varieties will be available to New York growers first.
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