Maryland discovers unique native hop for booming beer industry

02/27/2023| Amanda Winters

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Maryland discovers unique native hop for booming beer industry

02/27/2023 | Amanda Winters

A collaborative effort between the Brewers Association of Maryland; Grow & Fortify; Milkhouse Brewery at Stillpoint Farm; and the University of Maryland Extension has brought three new Maryland beers made with locally-grown hops to life.

While Maryland is at the ideal latitude for hop growing – at 39° North of the equator – the state didn’t identify a native hop of its own until recently.

In 2013, Thurmont’s Green Spring Farm shared an aggressive growing hop from its property with Mt. Airy’s Milkhouse Brewery . From there, the University of Maryland Extension  worked with the USDA to examine the crop , and determined the plant was previously unidentified and completely unique to Maryland.

The native plant was titled the Monocacy hop, a tribute to the surrounding region.

The partners launch the Monocacy hop-brewed beer

In 2021, the hop was planted and studied at University of Maryland Extension’s farm in Washington County , with help from a grant that Grow & Fortify  helped to secure. And according to the Frederick News Post, an additional grant will allow the team to continue its research and determine how sustainable the hop will be for Maryland’s economy.

Now, the three beers brewed with the Monocacy hop can be tasted at Milkhouse Brewery, while supplies last. Learn more about Maryland’s own genetically unique hop in the video below.

Video by the Brewers Association of Maryland 

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