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Hop growers look to the East Coast as demand rises

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(FILE PHOTO)

GORHAM, Maine  — Hop growers are looking for new places to grow the crop, which is facing an unprecedented demand as the thirst for IPA’s, and other hoppy beers continue to skyrocket.

Hops are the flowers of the hop plant. They are used to provide bitterness, aroma, and flavor to the beer.

In the U.S., the vast majority are grown in Washington state, with significant numbers grown in Oregon and Idaho.

But with the increased demand for hops many growers in Michigan, New York, and Maine are starting to ramp up production.

The demand for hops is high, in part because of America’s obsession with India pale ales. A style of beer which uses large amounts of the flower.

Prices have also been high in recent years, even as the total amount of hop acreage hits record highs.