The investment supports sustainable grower practices and grower education
YAKIMA, WA (May 16, 2019) — Anheuser-Busch today announced that it is investing $30,000 in Hop Growers of America (HGA) as part of its commitment to its 2025 Sustainability Goals and to the broader agricultural community. The investment will support Hop Growers of America's “Good Bines” program that provides educational resources to hop growers on sustainability, food safety, and farming best practices. The announcement comes during the Anheuser-Busch Brewers Collective dry hopping summit in Kennewick, WA, where Anheuser-Busch brewers and craft partners from across the world are currently meeting to discuss best practices and to share ideas.
“Ann George and HGA have been a great partner over the years, and we are excited to support the creation of learning modules and sustainability case studies as part of HGA's ‘Good Bines' online platform,” said Jess Newman, Anheuser-Busch's Director of U.S. Agronomy. “HGA has taken proactive steps to empower its grower-members to be leaders on food safety and all facets of sustainability. This dovetails with our 2025 Sustainability Goals to ensure our direct growers are skilled, connected, and financially empowered, and we're pleased to be able to support HGA's efforts.”
Anheuser-Busch and their craft partners have proudly supported farmers and the broader agricultural community for generations. As the country's leading brewer, Anheuser-Busch is the single largest user of hops for brewing in the U.S. Each year, the brewer directly purchases approximately 3.7 million pounds of hops from U.S. growers in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Anheuser-Busch has been contracting public hop varieties with many of these growers since the 1970s, and each contract is roughly 3-5 years long. U.S. hop growers supply roughly 70 percent of the hops used by the North America Anheuser-Busch brewing team and all of its partners.
“Anheuser-Busch's investments in hop research have helped to position our growers for success in a dynamic industry and changing environment. Thank you to Anheuser-Busch for supporting American hop growers and for being a key leader as we adapt for the future of our industries,” said Ann George, Executive Director of Hop Growers of America.
HGA is a nonprofit trade association which supports American hop growers through education, promotion, statistics and grower support services. Through this work, and by facilitating conversations between growers, merchants, and brewers, they in turn also support the international hop growing community and the brewing community – both domestic and international.
As part of Anheuser-Busch's 2025 Sustainability Goals, the company works with all of its direct farmers to help improve their performance through innovation and knowledge-sharing. Anheuser-Busch's investment in HGA will help create long-lasting educational resources and tools for hop farmers to use to increase their efficiency and reduce their environmental footprint.
In addition to contracting with local hop growers, Anheuser-Busch owns one of the largest hop farms in the world, called Elk Mountain Farms. Elk Mountain Farms is located in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, and grows seven different varieties of hops, including a number of experimental hops. The hop farm was established 32 years ago to grow hops for Budweiser, and today the farm supports both mainstream and craft brands within the Anheuser-Busch portfolio. The hop farm allows Anheuser-Busch to develop a deep relationship with farmers that combines the best of hop growing with the best practices of hop usage.
“Without the high-quality hops produced by the U.S. hop industry, it would be impossible to produce the world's finest beers like Budweiser. Elk Mountain Farms is proud to be a part of the U.S. grower base whose mission is to continuously improve the quality of our hops, the safety of our employees, and reduce our impact on the environment, which we farmers are so dependent. As part of the Anheuser-Busch family, we're excited at the prospect of participating in such a great initiative as Good Bines,” said Ed Atkins, General Manager of Elk Mountain Farms. “A huge shout-out to HGA, Ann George, and all of the team responsible for bringing this program to life!”
“Anheuser-Busch's contribution to Good Bines will help all hop growers and consequently all brewers—large and small,” said Brett Porter, Director of Craft Brewing and Innovation for Anheuser-Busch's Brewers Collective. "HGA and their members take care of us—it makes me proud we're able to give something back to them.”
Anheuser-Busch's Brewers Collective meets three times a year to carefully examine a specific topic in brewing. The brewers exchange best practices, hear from speakers at the cutting edge of brewing science, and conclude their meetings with a community service project. After the educational portion of the Kennewick summit wraps up, the brewers will help repair, re-furbish, and re-paint the Wolf hop picking machine donated to Washington State University by Anheuser-Busch in the early 1990s. This picker is an important part of the public hop breeding program in the U.S. and is another way in which the company is honored to support hop farmers.
For more than 165 years, Anheuser-Busch has been woven into the cultural fabric of the United States, carrying on a legacy of brewing great-tasting, high-quality beers that have satisfied beer drinkers for generations. Today, we own and operate 23 breweries, 14 distributorships and 23 agricultural and packaging facilities, and have more than 18,000 colleagues across the United States. We are home to several of America's most recognizable beer brands, including Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob ULTRA and Stella Artois, as well as a number of regional brands that provide beer drinkers with a choice of the best-tasting craft beers in the industry.
From responsible drinking programs and emergency drinking water donations to industry-leading sustainability efforts, we are guided by our unwavering commitment to supporting the communities we call home.
ABOUT HOP GROWERS OF AMERICA
Hop Growers of America (HGA) promotes American-grown hops to brewers and industry both domestically and internationally. HGA facilitates conversations between growers, merchants, and brewers, providing statistical reports to the industry and education on the quality, variety, and tradition of U.S. grown hops. For more information, visit: www.usahops.org/
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