Hops-loving hipsters watch out. The craft beer industry is on high alert as blistering heat is hitting key growing areas in the U.S. and Europe, threatening this year's hop harvest.
The state of Washington's Yakima Valley, the top producer of "aroma" hops used to flavor craft beers, experienced sustained temperatures above 100F over the past month. Germany and Slovenia, which are also large hop growers, have also been hit by hot weather.
"The heat is causing the plants to wilt," says Paul Corbett, managing director at Charles Faram, an international hops trader based in the U.K.
The extreme heat comes as producers are increasing the acreage of aroma hops to keep up with demand from the booming craft beer industry, prompted by a craze for beers made by small independent brewers.