Dear Readers,

The 2019 hop harvest will begin in less than 2 months. However before I go into detail here I would like to review the hop harvest of 2018.

Review of the 2018 harvest

At the end of June 2018 all market players were still expecting a normal, average hop harvest. However the lack of rain in July and August did not bode well. According to the German Weather Service (DWI) 2018 was the warmest year in the 138 years of temperature reading. As can be seen in the following table, by the end of the campaign, the 2018 harvest yield was still slightly higher than that of 2017 although the area under cultivation was almost 500 ha larger.

growing area yield of 2017 harvest estimation of 2018 harvest yield of 2018 harvest
Hallertau 35,540.19 t 34,500.0 t 36,554.78 t
Tettnang 2,270.44 t 2,195.0 t 2,075.07 t
Elbe Saale 2,938.77 t 2,846.6 t 2,488.49 t
Spalt 762.16 t 540.0 t 631.34 t

Rheinpfalz /


44.69 t 41.9 t 44.59 t
Germany 41,556.25 t 40,123.5 t 41,794.27 t

More serious were the low levels of alpha acid which were below the long-term average for all varieties. The alpha acid clause came into effect for almost all the flavour varieties. Dealers attempted to fulfil their contracts using products from previous harvests, in so far as available, or by shifts or cancellations, which in almost all cases was mutually agreeable.

Due to the below-average harvest of 2018 dealers only have a low stock of flavour and bitter hop products.

Surprisingly hardy in yield and alpha acid are the new Hüller varieties: Ariana, Callista, Hallertau Blanc, Hüll Melon, Mandarina Bavaria and Polaris. Based upon this, on the initiative of the Society for Hop Research in Hüll (Gesellschaft für Hopfenforschung), brewing trials were made after the 2018 harvest at the TUM Weihenstephan to test up to which percentage could be given to these hop varieties, also in the hot section, without this affecting the taste of the beers. The tests were promising although further tests are required.

Stocks of the varieties Ariana, Callista Hallertau Blanc, Hüll Melon and Mandarina Bavaria are still available on the market, mainly as P90 from the 2017 and 2018 harvests.

Forecast for the 2019 harvest:

Germany and USA:

The growing area in Germany in comparison to 2018 has been increased again moderately by just under 1.4% to now 20,417 ha with 55% of the area given over to aroma and flavour hops and 45% to bitter hops.

The growing areas mainly of the varieties Perle, Hall. Tradition and Herkules have been increased. The area under cultivation of flavour hops has been reduced by approx. 140 ha, of which almost 100 ha are Amarillo.

From the USA there have only been reports of redistribution of varieties but no further increase in growing area so that the total area under cultivation of 24,390 ha remains unchanged. The percentage of bitter hops in relation to the total area under cultivation is still only 25%.

Germany and the USA are the 2 countries with the largest hop acreage worldwide.

As the weather conditions so far are similar to those of 2018, I do not wish to make any predictions regarding the 2019 harvest. The rainfall in the next 5-6 weeks will be the deciding factor.

Pre-contract market for the harvest of 2019ff:

The pre-contract quotes for the 2019 and 2020 harvests are at a very high level both for quantity and price. As from the 2021 harvest the pre-contract quotes and prices will fall.

On our own behalf:

The BRAU BEVIALE in Nürnberg will take place from 12th to 14th November 2019. You can find us at the stand “Team for Brewers” in Hall 1, Stand 101. We look forward to seeing you. Once again we will have “Rudis Hopfentrunk” – now the 6th edition! Let yourself be surprised!

Should you require entrance tickets please send me an e-mail (see below for the address).

I hope that I have been able to give you some important information on the market assessment with this market report. Should you have any questions regarding my market report please feel free to contact me by phone or e-mail.

Best regards
Rudolf Eisemann

(T.: +49 6226 – 4353 | E.: