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Northern Michigan’s budding hops industry on the rise again

Traverse City Record-Eagle

Williamsburg, Mich. – Northern Michigan’s budding hops industry appears to be doing better after a rocky start at the beginning of the year.

During the early months of the global pandemic, Michigan hops sales dipped 30% to 50% as operations across the craft beer industry shut down and brewers had to turn to product in storage.

Michigan Local Hops in Williamsburg, one of the biggest farms in the area, said sales picked up in July and August.

Michigan Local Hops in Williamsburg, one of the biggest farms in the area, said sales picked up in July and August, the Traverse City Record-Eagle reported.

“I think we’ll bounce back, hopefully this fall but at least by this spring,” said Brian Tennis, founder and owner of Michigan Hop Alliance in Omena.

The Michigan Hop Alliance grows 13 different varieties of hops on 30 acres and handles another five varieties from 50 or 60 acres on other farms.

Mike Moran, sales director and vice president at MI Local Hops, wrapped up harvest on 180 acres in the last week. The product is stored in a cold storage facility and shipped directly to breweries.

“We’re taking our healthiest yards and harvesting them, and we’re rebuilding yards that have had issues,” Moran said. “We’re trying to produce more with less, but really trying to work on the healthiest yards that have helped us survive.”

Moran said they continue working on ways to improve.