Plant and cultivation

Cultivation and trade

Hops require a climbing aid. Around 1900, wire trellises replaced hop poles used for many centuries. The training wires on which hops grow upwards have to be hung up again every year.

In spring, hop plants are exposed and pruned back to a certain height. Once the plant sprouts again, two or three shoots are trained onto the wire by hand.

Hops are very sensitive to pests and diseases and cannot survive without plant protectants. Ecological hop cultivation is very difficult and is quite rare.

In Germany, hops are ripe at the end of August. For centuries, thousands of hop pickers travelled to the growing regions to harvest hops. This job is nowadays done by hop picking machines.

The hops have to be dried immediately after harvest as they would otherwise spoil. Every hop farm has a tower-type kiln with a heater supplying the heat required for drying.

Hops are provided with a unique seal, ensuring the correct certification of provenience. Hops are almost exclusively sold to users via hop trading companies. In former times, hops were subject to extreme annual price fluctuations. Sale of the harvest is nowadays assured through pre-contracts.