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YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — Despite drought and a heat wave this summer, Washington growers produced a record 59.4 million pounds of hops this year.
Much of the 6 percent boost in production came from an 11 percent increase in acreage. But the strong harvest numbers hide the losses that some Yakima Valley growers suffered on certain hard-hit varieties and extra water costs.
The Yakima Herald-Republic says hops are used to flavor beer.
Heat-tolerant alpha hop varieties had a banner year. But some of the aroma hops that are favored by craft brewers prefer cooler weather, and suffered significantly in the June heat.
Three-quarters of the nation's hops are grown in Washington.
Nationwide, the hop harvest was worth $345 million this year, up from $260 million in 2014.
Information from: Yakima Herald-Republic, http://www.yakimaherald.com
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