Crosby's cousin, Ben Smith, is general manager for B&D Farms in nearby St. Paul. Smith has pulled out some rye grass to plant 200 more acres of hops to add to the 500 acres he already has. He has presold all of it for the next three years. "The calls kept coming, so we kept planting."
However, could there be a beer bubble brewing? Crosby believes some of the craft beers on the market are getting very hoppy, using five to seven pounds per batch—"ridiculous"—and the fad could eventually lose its head. At the same time, more supply will eventually be hitting the market, and the price for hops might pop. "We always tend to somehow ruin our market, I think farmers are really good at that," said Crosby. "The farmers may very well glut this market before craft beer ever slows."
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No glut appears in sight at the moment. In fact, as Washington state right next door prepares to issue its first licenses for recreational marijuana, the link between pot and hops may grow tighter. Watch the video, as Crosby explains that hemp and hops are "cousins."