Trouble brewing for Colorado’s once-promising hops industry

Posted at 9:26 AM, Sep 05, 2021

DENVER (AP) — When farmers began sowing the seeds of Colorado’s hop industry more than a decade ago, it was to meet the demands of a “drink local” culture, perpetuated in no small part by MillerCoors, which in 2010 released a beer made exclusively with ingredients from the Centennial State.

But the once-promising industry is now in dire straits as small growers try to manage competition from large agriculture, shifting consumer tastes, increasingly unpredictable weather and changes in the way hops are bought and sold.

Limitations on which hop varieties Coloradans can grow further complicate the equation.