Hop production is decreasing in the North of France
September means the start of harvest season for hops. These flowers used to add some flavor to beer are still produced in the north of France, but not as much as it used to. And certainly not as much as brewers need.
Although that area of France is still the second largest hop producer there are only about ten hop producers left in that region. Today, it includes a little bit over 30 hectares of hop fields, as opposed to the 250 hectares you could find there back in 1985.
Hops culture is profitable for producers since price are fixed, but this type of culture is not very popular. As a result, it is impossible for all of the breweries to use local hops, so they have to find their hops elsewhere, usually in Belgium or Germany.
Brewers from the North of France know their region has a lot of potential, but hops culture needs a little more structure, and a knowledge center would be a good start.
Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.