Arkansas breweries partner in hops study

Horticulture researchers with the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station have partnered with three breweries across the state in a quality research study of hops grown in Arkansas.

Following a three-year study to find varieties of hops that grow well in Arkansas, the experiment station will collaborate with Ivory Bill Brewing Company in Siloam Springs, Prestonrose Farm and Brewing Company in Paris, and Stone’s Throw Brewing in Little Rock on the research. The experiment station is the research arm of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

“We know it’s possible to grow hops in the state, but we want to know more about what brewers think about the quality and feasibility of using whole-cone, dried Arkansas-grown hops,” Amanda McWhirt, associate professor and extension horticulture specialist, said.

An initial three-year research project on growing hops was completed in 2021 at the Fruit Research Station in Clarksville. The study showed that Cascade and Zeus hops varieties had the best yields, plant health and vigor. Crystal and Cashmere showed moderate potential for being grown in Arkansas. Canadian Red Vine hops grown at the Fruit Research Station will also be evaluated by brewery partners. The horticulture team is continuing its research into growing hops, with new trials started in 2022 aimed at increasing yield through new methods of plant training.