NASA: Beer Production has hit a Climate Tipping Point

Cabotella beach beer, author Jordan Gardenhire, source Wikimedia

Cabotella beach beer, author Jordan Gardenhire, source Wikimedia

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to NASA scientist Joshua Fisher, climate change in regions which produce hops for breweries in the Pacific North West may have reached a tipping point, impacting the future availability of craft beer.

Climate change is hurting craft breweries

IRINA IVANOVA MONEYWATCH November 1, 2017, 5:00 AM

First it came for the wine. Now, climate change is set to put a damper on the world’s supply of beer.

Small breweries in the Pacific Northwest are struggling with a shortage of hops, a key ingredient in beer. Washington, Oregon and Idaho grow almost all the hops in the country, according to the US Department of Agriculture, and those states have seen increasingly harsher droughts over the past few years.

Two years ago, an unusually warm winter led to widespread drought in Washington’s Yakima Valley, a situation that could repeat itself this year. Scientists say these warm winters will likely become standard in another 50 years.

“We are reaching this kind of tipping point,” said NASA climate scientist Joshua Fisher. “What we’ve been used to in terms of how much rain we’re going to get and how plants grow is no longer the norm.”

Read more: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/climate-change-is-hurting-craft-breweries/

In parched Australia we’re used to climate doomsday prophets proclaiming the end of rain after every dry spell, only to see their silly predictions washed away by the next deluge.

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165 thoughts on “NASA: Beer Production has hit a Climate Tipping Point

  1. Looks like they missed out on the Greening of the planet…
    This video was posted here years ago..

      • Seconded. Seriously, if every hipster dbag had to go without one over-hopped nutty vanilla bubblegum “stunt beer” a week, we’d have enough hops to do what was intended to be done with them: brew real beer for adults.

      • I literally just thought to myself last night while buying beer that there would be a much better selection of good ales if it weren’t for this mouth breathing hipster groupthink that has caused the the shelves to be flooded with IPAs.

      • Even a lot of blond beers now are over hopped. I’m not sure why they (micro-brewers) think that we all want to choke down obnoxious beer. I like to try craft beer because I enjoy drinking something unique, but over hopping beer is not unique. It is just lazy brewing.

      • If you can see through it, it isn’t worth drinking.
        IPA = Intense Pinetree Aftertaste
        Give me Ambers, Ales, Porters and stouts.
        As long as the Guinness keeps flowing, and not that blond abomination, life is good.

      • OMG! YES!

        At what point did we decide that good beer meant bashing us in the mouth with hops! I love a good pale ale. Full bodied. Bright, floral hop profile. Malty. But it’s so hard to find since the “hop it to death” crowd came in. I blame climate change for that!

        rip

      • Tom,

        Definitely not an outlier (based on market/sales). And the fact that you have tastes similar to the “mouth breathing hipster group” as described above doesn’t make it strange, just diverse ;)

    • We have more than enough hops for the best quality lagers. There is no reason to waste good hops by adding it to the “craft” herbal enema liquids produced by some of these outfits.

      You may notice that hops is not even mentioned in the list of herbs commonly used in colon cleansing fluids.

  2. A lot of Australia hops come from Tassie, and of course Australia has seen no warming for 20 + years.

      • Eh, you been looking at one of them upside down globes? Tasmania was down there last I looked, and grows hops, but don’t let me interrupt you in continuing your comment on Andy’s graph …..

      • poor little nickie-boy.

        Hops are mainly grown in Tassie, and Victoria.(the two main regions). Some also grown in WA.

        So where exactly is “up there”.???

        Notice the 20 year trend for Australia Nick…

        Any comment ???

      • “So where exactly is “up there”.???”
        Where UAH measures its temperatures. If you look at the UAH temperature without anomaly, it is about -25°C.

      • Nick think the lapse rate has changed..

        Oh dearie me !!!

        Hops aren’t grown in cities or at airports, either

        You are getting desperate, aren’t you, little nick.

        Next you will be using BOM’s 1 second readings.. that will be funny. :-p

      • Anyway, this is about droughts, and the Launceston area, had the highest annual rainfall (in data from 1980-2017) in 2016.

        nickie-boy sucks socks, yet again.

      • But the “weather” up there is reflected to the surface, don’t you know? At least according to the “physics,” Nick.

        One needs to keep the players straight. “Truth” in one area comes back to bite one’s ass.

      • Oh yes they do , Myhree in Victoria have a large hop farm and the area was once a major hop growing area , until the brewers discovered importing cheap hops helped the bonus incentive of the CEO .

  3. “First it came for the wine.”

    The French and other European wine crops are down this year BECAUSE OF HEAVY FROSTS. !

    • I must have missed the Australian never ending drought, which is strange given my family are farmers.
      I know Queensland and parts of New South Wales are currently in drought but I am not sure when a couple of East Coast states became the whole of Australia.

      I notice you use California, you didn’t use USA because you recognized that California is a small part of a much larger country. Perhaps you may take the time to study the MAP of Australia and come to a realization. USA has a land area of 10 million square kilometres and Australia is not far behind at 7.7 million square kilometres. It would be appreciated if you took a little more care when using the term Australia if you mean a specific area in it.

      • There were predictions within the past ten years that the drought in SE Australia (sorry,my knowledge of Australian geography sucks) was permanent, and one city built a rather expensive desalination plant that has never been used. In the same time frame, droughts in California and Texas were also claimed to be permanent. Both the droughts in the US ended with quite heavy rain, and I seem to remember the situation in SE Australia ended the same way.

      • Although the winter of 2015-2016 in Washington State was mild, the winter of 2016-2017 was very cold with much snow. The same has been predicted for this winter of 2017-2018. The hops will flourish in Washington State.

      • Melbourne in Victoria built a $4bn seawater desalination plant which sat idle for 4 years was started in March to produce 50 gigaliters of water. It won’t be permanently left on as it’s too expensive to run. There was some politics behind why they turned it on the State had no shortage of water at the time.

  4. Huh?! And here I thought West Coast rainfall/drought was caused by El Niño ocean current changes. You know … the ones that SUDDENLY (and without Jerry Brown’s forethought, knowledge, or prior approval) ended CA’s “neverending” drought …

  5. “……Two years ago, an unusually warm winter led to widespread drought in Washington’s Yakima Valley, a situation that could repeat itself this year. Scientists say these warm winters will likely become standard in another 50 years….”
    This is ridiculous. “could”, “likely ….in 50 years..”.
    That’s not science just typical bulltish.
    Guess what? It is called FARMING and crops vary from year to year.

    • Not really. You can’t grow hops this year, apples next year, and cherries the year after that.

    • “These warm winters will likely become standard..” Yes we know. Our children will not know what a “snow” was. Been there.

    • Interesting bit of science:
      I picked Portland, Oregon as an epicenter of IPA craft beer ecothusiasm and because Yakima in Washington had no entry on the Location list so….

      If you go to Berkely Earth, pull up the Land and Ocean dataset
      and select Results by Location, you can find Portland (USA)…..
      berkeleyearth.lbl.gov/locations/45.81N-123.46W

      The data for Portland, as well as for Oregon as a whole and Washington as a whole is also displayed in Mean Temperature Rate of Change ( Degrees C/Century)

      It turns out that since 1990 anyhow, these places have been cooling off.
      Somehow though, I don’t think that’s what was meant by ‘tipping point’ wrt. hops.

      Temperature Rate of Change ( Degrees C per Century) Since 1990:

      Portland, Oregon -1.62 (+/- .60)
      Oregon State -0.33 (+/- .29)
      Washington State -0.54 (+/- .41)

      • error measurement? We don’t use error measurement in temperature discussions. Eva. /sarc

        I wish we did but it’s not how ‘mainstream’ science works in the climate world.

    • Here in Western Canada (where we drink a few beers) and grow some grain (barley, etc.), we have just had a quite dry year. Luckily, this was the first dry year in about the last 20, and crops have generally been excellent. There must be a reason why world grain stores are at record levels despite much higher population.
      Cold (frost) is the enemy of crops. Not warmth.

    • I live just to the South East of Yakima Valley, in the southern Columbia basin region.

      It is bullcrap! since Yakima Valley is a well irrigated region,getting their water from the Tieton reservoir.

      The 2015 Drought was exceptional ,yet water flowed almost the whole season anyway,just a two week shutdown was all that transpired.

      Drought Forces Large Group Of Yakima Valley Farmers To Turn Off The Spigot

      By Anna King • May 12, 2015

      The Roza Irrigation District in Eastern Washington’s Yakima Valley is shutting off the water for two weeks because of drought. About a billion dollars in crops are on the line.

      The spigot is turning off at a mini-dam on an artificial river. This is the main Roza Irrigation District canal that draws water from high reservoirs. It has a gate that controls the flow of water.

      Federal water managers are slowly squeezing the water down.

      “What’s happening today is Roza Irrigation District is basically budgeting their water supply,” engineer Chris Lynch explained. “They’ve decided to turn their water off for a portion of May to help save water for the hotter part of the season.”

      In more than 70 years, this is only the fourth time the district has had to do this.”

      http://nwnewsnetwork.org/post/drought-forces-large-group-yakima-valley-farmers-turn-spigot

      Here is the ROZA Irrigation districts website showing there is no water supply problem in the forecast for 2017:

      http://www.roza.org/usbr-forecast/

      The end result of the drought impact was to transfer some water from the Columbia to the Yakima Valley area. The Columbia River is the 8th longest river ,with the 4th largest average stream flow in America which for a short time every year,drains more water into the ocean,than anywhere else.

      I live just 1 1/2 miles from the Columbia River.

    • Now that NASA has reached out to the Muslim community at NASA … I am sure they are ready to fire rockets for Allah

    • Sadly, this Fool is a climate scientist at JPL. JPL does some seriously hardcore planetary space science and engineering.
      So where did this fool sneak in from?
      Why is he allowed to do climate pseudoscience with real planetary scientists around him?

      • Both JPL and especially GISS have strayed from their original foundation goals.

        It was Robert Jastrow,a long tome ASTRONOMER who founded GISS in support of Space exploration. He never intended to do climate change research gor Earth itself,it was to research ATMOSPHERES for other places.

    • NASA’s twitter put out a tweet a while ago saying we’d hit an all time high in CO2 levels. Yeah, we’re definitely above what was likely an all time low in the last 550 million years. This sure isn’t rocket science.

      • RobH,
        CO2, a trace gas of little consequence. But your obeisance to a quaint fable about CO2’s control on climate is humorous and sad at the same time.

      • Hell, we’re barely above the minimum of the last 20 million years…

        By Phanerozoic standards, Earth is barely alive…

  6. It’s possible to make traditional beers without hops. link

    A lot of hoppy beers taste like grapefruit. A local brewer short circuited the process and made beer with grapefruit, probably saving a bundle on hops in the process.

    No hops, no problem.

  7. Just a thought from an American taxpayer:

    Maybe NASA should focus less on fake science & beer-making so they can focus more on manned vehicles that safely transport astronauts to/from space and beyond (as opposed to paying Russia for rides),

    Proposed new NASA slogan: MORE SLIDE-RULES; LESS BOTTLE-OPENERS!

  8. The availability of hops has nothing to do with “Climate” and everything to do with insane water storage policies and government water regulations and restrictions in California…… It’s Government, not climate that is causing a shortage in hops.

  9. “We are reaching this kind of tipping point,” said NASA climate scientist Joshua Fisher. Nice to know that they care for beer. Maybe for other things as well.

  10. There is no lunacy to which ignorant CACA spewers will not stoop.

    As a PNW craft beer brewer, I can categorically state that if for some unimaginable region Yakima becomes untenable for hops, then there are the Umpqua and Rogue River valleys.

    For decades and generations, hop production has alternated between the Willamette and Yakima Valleys, as soil depletion and climatic conditions have dictated. Should, in the unimaginable case, Yakima no longer be able to support hop cultivation, then we have all those more southerly valleys, as I mentioned.

    But global warming should mean that Yakima will become the center of future hops production, rather than be excluded, since it’s so far farther north.

    More raving lunatic insanity from know-nothing, badly educated idiots.

  11. “First it came for the wine.”

    As a wine aficionado , I have seen no decrease in quantity or quality of wine over the last decade. None. Just got some amazing reds delivered from the Paso Robles region in CA delivered for the cellar from a July tasting trip. Wines from this region just keep getting better in this emerging region as wine makers understand their grapes & land better.

    • I live a bit north of Paso Robles in a rural area where all my neighbors are plowing up their barley fields and planting vineyards. I think wine is in no danger of disappearing or beer either for that matter. Cheers!

  12. NASA’s primary focus should be on rockets and spaceships. However, I understand the preoccupation with beer… and spirits. How else are you going to get some, ostensibly, sane person to take a ride in a cramped, confined space sitting on top of tons of high explosives? Also, it calms the nerves of the engineers that designed said high explosive conveyance. :)

    • SMC

      “How else are you going to get some, ostensibly, sane person to take a ride in a cramped, confined space sitting on top of tons of high explosives?”

      Built by the lowest bidders.

      • Hot Scot
        Indeed.
        Worth remembering – sometimes in the private sector, too, as well as Governmental.

        Auto

  13. It has long been noted that when the Pacific NW US is dry, the SW US is wet, and vice versa. It was quite wet this past monsoon summer in the SW, while it was epically dry in the NW.

    It has been dry for a few months now in SW. The rains will return to Pacific NW in due course.

    Climatists Katherine Hayhoe and Andy Dessler both foolishly made similar Texas Perma-drought predictions for Texas about 5 years ago during the height of the Texas drought. They now are shown as being the stupid fools they are for those predictions.

    Fisher is just teeing himself up to join that Fool’s Club.

    • So why aren’t these jokers hauled out in front of the cameras and called on it? Why are they not interviewed where the interviewer highlights their predictions and shows the actual result and the massive and often antiphase disparity between prediction and result? And then asked if they are going to stfu from here on in since they clearly have not the vaguest clue about which they speak.

    • I’m not a fan of alcohol. I discourage it but won’t go fascist banning it.

      However, speaking of “public health crisis” in U.S. media regarding guns…

      In 2013 29,001 died from alcohol by itself (does not include DUIs, cirrhosis or accidents, just drinking). Then imagine how many of those 35 thousand vehicular deaths were caused by alcohol?

      That’s two and a half times more likely to die from just alcohol than a firearm (11,208).

      Source https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm

      Tad of a tangent I’m going on, but…
      further depressing, more people commit suicide than are murdered.

      • So more people die from alcohol than from being shot? I’m pretty sure that at least 97% of tests would show that drinking is way more fun than being shot.

        You need to put things in perspective istead of just spouting meaningless figures.

      • Some politicians can’t function without it. Churchill in the UK and Muldoon in NZ were infamous for it on the job.

      • Well all of those people were collectively generating lots of greenhouse gases, so it’s a positive in the world of climate change.

  14. Several years ago now, I drove up to Porthill, Idaho, looking for the USHCN weatherstation. Bumbling around town, I came upon a dandy little weather station that I (incorrectly) took to be what I was looking for. It was on the Anheiser-Busch hops farm right next to the Kootenai river. I don’t know whether they use irrigation or rely on natural rainfall, but there is plenty of water in that river. I walked around trying to find somebody who spoke English in what appeared to be dormitories for AB’s employees. From what I saw, I suspect the only impediment to future hops production might be difficulties in obtaining green cards for immigrant workers.

    Here’s a link (hope it works) to a google aerial view.

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/Idaho/@48.9957192,-116.505554,520m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x5358ffa885e499e9:0xd06b300515f78758!8m2!3d44.0682019!4d-114.7420408

    For those who are interested, here is a writeup on the AH farm:

    http://celebrator.com/features/abhopfarm/

    • MODS: That first link not only didn’t work, it messed up my computer to where I had to restart the Xwindows. If you could delete it?? Anyone who wants to see what the AB farm looks like can google the coordinates 48.9958 -116.5031

      • Juan,

        Unfortunately programming incompatibility increases with older tech. I’m impressed still works for you ;)

        JerOme, should believe me here, not everyone you encounter online lives first-world with all the fanciest, newest gadgets.

      • Getting a bit far from hops and booze here, but I will comment on the IT question. This machine’s platform is Fedora core 24. I have another that is core 26. So far as I know, Fedora has always used X. This link describes their usage as of core 12; I don’t think things have changed much.

        https://docs-old.fedoraproject.org/en-US/Fedora/12/html/Deployment_Guide/ch-x.html

        My concern above is that anyone clicking on my first link above may experience problems as I did.

    • Anheuser-Busch having a hop farm would seem a bit unnecessary, given the tastelessness of their primary product. We used to joke that they would just get the trucks of hops to drive into the brewery and straight out again without unloading, so as to give the correct appearance. True, AB-InBev as they are now have been on a buying spree and bought up a raft of smaller breweries whose products you could actually call beer, so there is a genuine need for hops in parts of their empire. I’m sure they can fix that though.

  15. Eric…Shame…Shame…Shame.
    This is what you come up with when, Down Under, we are experiencing the Worstist Evah Kangaroo Depressive Illness outbreak, in recorded history.
    As a result of this Hop Shortage.
    In the future Children will never know what Hopping Kangaroos are!!!!!
    It is an Outrage Sir!

  16. Wisconsin is hopping back on the growers wagon as well. Shortly after the Civil war ended, Wisconsin became a major source for hops used world wide, after the hop crops in New York had repetitive failures. When New York and other eastern states eventually got their crops going again, supply exceed demand and the effervescent prices went flat. Hop farming in WI fizzled out then but is finding new interest now, with the bubbling interest in craft brewing there.

    If there is a viable profit to be had, Wisconsin farmers will happily provide…..

  17. Jeeze!

    NASA can’t go to the Moon in the next 50 years! Let alone will never get to Mars even in 400 years!

    Ice Bridge Boondoggle to be scuttled!

    ICESat2 … Scrapped!

    OCO3 … Dead.

    GRACE already dead … GRACE Follow-On … Dead.

    EOS Mission To Planet Earth … Well the old Cold War is over and the New Cold War deserves more attention! EOS Mission To Planet Earth … Scuttled!

    I like Harrison Schmidt’s ideas about scrapping NASA and starting over! Although I for one would in addition scrape the NSF – NSTC – NSB (National Science Foundation – National Science Technology Council – National Science Board) altogether. Any vestiges could be moved to the Department of Education … a small room … no window … no telephone … no desk but a chair in the middle of the room.

  18. A friend of mines father was a wheat farmer in NSW Australia. Old Norm sold the farm decades ago without telling my friend who was ticked off as he saw it as his future.
    He said “son I have had 15 good years out of the last 20 and I know that is my good fortune. We are overdue for a prolonged drought and I don’t want you or myself to go through what I have seen others go through”.
    That was about 1973 – never a mention of Climate Change but he knew a drought was coming.
    Pretty simple really – just re occurring patterns over time.

  19. In another fifty years? At least they have learned to stop making predictions which occur in their own lifetimes…!

    • Don’t worry, There are PLENTY of regions where hops can grow in Australia. :-)

      Even WA is getting into the act… although, Swan Lager… they have a way to go !!!

  20. A nice little microcosm of Climate Science innit?

    Enquiring minds may like to know why a NASA scientist is worried about beer, esp Craft Beer
    Craft Beer being the height of pretension, snobbery and mines-bigger-than-yours-ism surpassed only by wine drinking folks.
    Next to Climate Science is THE biggest piece of sheer mendaciousness within Western society, Nobody drinks alcohol for the taste of it, they drink alcohol so they can get drunk and stupid. Period

    Aha, now we a glimpse of Peta’s theory of Climate Science lunacy and other recent madnesses – initiated and perpetuated by the use of mind-numbing foods – alcohol being only the tip of a humongous ice-berg called Sugar.
    And will these muppet brewers ever admit that the shortage of hops may be due to:
    a) Hops are very hungry plants, they need rich fertile soil
    b) Most of North America and all of Australia are effectively deserts
    c) Unit for unit, Craft Beers require & use 3, 4 or even 5 times more hops than more ordinary beers.
    No.

    They are passing the buck – imagine a drug-dealer on a street-corner complaining about a Climate Change induced shortage of dope when, in fact, the dealer himself was handing out quadruple measures for ‘only’ twice the price of a standard fix.
    You know what, I Would Not Be Surprised…

    • Peta,

      Pretty true. It’s ultimately about getting drunk. I posted some stats just how (quietly) devastating alcohol is. Weed has destroyed my state (Colorado). Opioids, though not the level of late 19th century, is coming back.

      The only point of recreational drugs is literally just the high, anything else is justifying habits. Been there, done that with nearly all forms.

      Social shaming, not government mandates, will stop this tide.

      LSD came to market via CIA’s MK Ultra, ushering in the “Counter-cultural Revolution”. That final snap between post-war ’50s Marxist infiltration into our intelligence community and the anti-American media propaganda of the ’70s, the latter which went unquestioned.

      To wit Megadeth:

      The quiet war has begun with silent weapons
      And the new slavery
      Is to keep the people poor, and stupid;
      “Novus Ordo Seclorum”
      How can there be any logic in biological war?
      We all know this is wrong, but the New World Order’s
      Beating down the door
      Oh, something needs to be done

  21. Hops are an agricultural product, the female flowers of a plant in the cannabis family. The hop plant is a perennial, just like rhubarb, so it grows back every year without having to replant. There are hundreds of varieties, grown exclusively for the female flowers (known as hops) which are almost exclusively used for brewing beer. They’re climbers and grow vigorously pretty much no matter the climate.

    https://modernfarmer.com/2015/07/farming-hops-during-the-ultra-hoppy-beer-craze/

  22. I was just reading about how Martin Luther (it’s his anniversary somehow) promoted the use of hops because they were considered a weed, grew well in Germany, and weren’t taxed by the church. How can a weed go extinct due to shifting anything? Won’t these things grow anywhere from the tundra to the jungle to the desert, so long as they get enough water? Is there any way to get the homebrewers to call BS on this? Lots of people grow their own hops and don’t really seem to be deterred by what climatic region they’re doing it in.

  23. It’s refreshing to note that also climate alarmists are worrying about the availability of the amber nectar.

  24. We need a list of things not threatened by “climate change”.
    I’ll start it:
    1.
    2.
    3.
    4.
    5.
    etc.

    [CAGW budgets are threatened by the lack of climate change. .mod]

  25. NASA? HOPS? There is a house that needs cleaning. Hope Jim Bridenstine can do it with the help of Congress redirecting the funding. Wonder what Gavin and crew are thinking right now?

  26. Accurate prediction of shortage (or boon) of [anything] means big bucks, the way Thales of Miletus did long ago.
    If Joshua Fisher were right and smart, we would keep quiet, speculate according to the information he has nobody else has, make a fortune as Thales did, and then use it as he see fit (like, fighting climate change), instead of giving the information away as a dirty sock for no one use.
    which leaves 3 possibilities:
    Joshua Fisher is not right
    Joshua Fisher is not smart
    Joshua Fisher just wants you to believe this, for whatever purpose (for instance: he really think the opposite and plans on making even bigger buck
    Your choice?

    • They badly need to revisit the Muslim outreach program as it really didn’t work last time around. Those guys still want to kill everyone not on a prayer mat. Mind you they ought to be pretty pleased with the hops result and won’t welcome NASA sticking their noses into improved beer yields there.

  27. I have a very wealthy friend who says that if you show him a shortage of something, he’ll show you an artificial price that is contrived in many parts by speculation…

    Just sayin’.

  28. Here in Toronto, we had local flooding due to a (very average) snowcap melting at the same time greater than average rains hit in the spring. Result: the Great Lakes rose.

    “This is the new normal”, the Usual Suspects warned. “The models say the region will get MORE rain”.

    Unfortunately for the scaremongering warmists, some of us have a good memory. And by “good”, I mean from a few years ago…when we had a below average snowcap, and very little rain. Result: the Great Lakes fell. There was talk of having to dredge channels between the lakes, and recreational boaters were worried because their docks were actually far from the water.

    “This is the new normal”, the Usual Suspects warned. “The models say the region will get LESS rain”.

    Repeat as needed…

    • MaekW,

      Lol it’s that damn gaseous HoP2 molecule causing mayhem again!

      (Please, chemists, be kind to my formula for jokes sake)

  29. Last winter, most of the West experienced near record snow fall and precipitation. The Yakima Valley is small, semi-arid (as one would expect being on the lee-side of a mountain range). How one can extrapolate their drought to Climate Change is beyond me.

    Maybe this is more an issue of water-management and conservation

  30. “Two years ago, an unusually warm winter led to widespread drought in Washington’s Yakima Valley, a situation that could repeat itself this year.”

    Well now this is a fascinating claim, for a couple of very obvious reasons:

    1) As of the publication date of this quote, the NWS records for Yakima show precipitation at 53% above normal for the calendar year to date.

    2) When I went to weather.gov to look up the specific rainfall numbers, the featured story on the homepage featured the forecast that: “A series of cold weather systems will bring 1 to 2 feet of snow to the mountains of the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies the next several days.”

    3) The continued development of a La Nina is forecast for this winter. La Ninas are associated with increased rainfall and decreased temperatures in the Pacific Northwest.

    Now since we’re talking about weather, there “could” be an unusually warm winter and widespread drought in the Yakima Valley that will decrease hop production this coming year, but I’m struggling to find any reason to think that is a likely scenario.

    • Well, according to the Farmer’s Almanac, you’ll be having chilly, stormy weather so you should have enough water soaking in to head off any drought.

  31. We will be in Yakima next week. Will visit Hass Hops ( http://www.johnihaas.com/ ) and warn them they are at a tipping point. Likely they will think I’m nuts.
    Irrigation is the name of agriculture in the Yakima Valley.

    Beer has been made for thousands of years (not locally), so we likely won’t run out.

  32. Oy! Holy Moly! Panic attack! No hops!!! Oh, noes!!!!!

    Listen up: hops can be grown in any moderate climate with proper care. Hops grow from small root-like cuttings about a foot long called rhizomes. That means I can grow them in my small yard, if I so desire. The bees would just love them. I’d probably have hummingbirds lining up for a tasting party. The ONLY reason they’re mostly coming from the PacNW is that it’s a major grain crop for the beer industry. Period.

    This is ridiculous. Much ado about nothing. A tempest in a teapot.

    I will stick to Guinness stouts and follow it with a hearty pizza.

    I haven’t seen anything as silly as the titled article’s utter misunderstanding of crop production in a long time – maybe since last week. What’s next? Panicking over winter wheat sprouting late?

  33. Hops? I don’t need no stinking hops!
    That’s okay. I brew my own mead. Easy to make, great to taste and the only downside is you have to leave it for a year in the bottle.
    Besides hops lowers testosterone so who needs that anyway?

  34. Washington State should be called the ‘never green’ state if you consider summer rainfall for growing stuff. Mostly scrub land. Same for Oregon, and Idaho.

    Furthermore, the Columbia River water shed has very little storage other than in the snow pack. Most years there is enough water for irrigation of farms and watering lawns.

    Hops are not a big crop in terms of land or income. The big ag industries are apples and milk. Washington State is the number 1 producer of hops in the US.

    I have been to Yakima County many times and visited many farms. I can not image why NASA hops grown there as critical issue.

  35. I don’t know how big Yakima valley is but how can you have a “widespread drought” in one valley? A widespread drought where I live is when you can drive all day without seeing anything green.

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