Daniel Parnitzke

Hops growing FAQ

Questions and Answers on hops growing in the Netherlands


Hopfendolde - https://www.flickr.com/photos/uwe_schubert/

Here I will write down questions that arise and try to answer them, give instructions and research on how to do things.

Therefore I contacted the Hopfenforschungszentrum Hüll that researches on and cultivates hops in the main hop cultivation region Hallertau in Germany. I also contacted the garden centre 1A Garten Eickelmann.
Thanks here to Franz Seidl and Anton Lutz.

Q: Can you grow hops in Amsterdam?

A: Yes you can! There is a whole industry in Belgium at similar climate.

Q: Inside or outside?

A: Better outside, as the height of the plant can reach up to 7 meters.

Q: Wich kind of hop is the best for the dutch climate?

A: In Belgium there is mainly english hops and the "Hallertauer Tradition" cultivated. This is one has good resistance properties and a fast winding rate. Moreover it has a good aroma that can be compared to the "Hallertauer Mittelfrüh".

Q: What might be the main obstacle for hop growth in the Netherlands?

A: The windy weather is probably the main harm for hop cultivation. The relative thin structure and the big height make it a fragile plant. So there should be found a place that is sheltered from direct weather influence.

Q: How do I plant hops?

A: Hop is only reproduced vegetative. Only the female plant is used for cultivation. As soon as there is a male plant around fruitifying the ingredients for beer brewing get lost. One can buy "Hopfenfechser", the roots of the plant.
A good adress is the Gartencenter Eichelmann's onlineshop. But not every kind of hop may be available because many of the famous hops are licenced and patented.

Q: Wich height can the plant reach?

A: It should reach at least 4,5 meters, in Germany heights of 7 meters are common.

Q: What nutrients does it need?

A: Hop is a riparian plant. It loves high nutrious soil with high nitrogen level.

more on cultivation and fertilisation of hops here:
booklet of the research centre on hops in Hüll

Q: When does the hop umbels for the first time?

A: The plant reaches its maximum yield potential in the second year after cultivation. In the first year there might be only few umbles to harvest. To reach the potential, the hop should not be cut or taken down during the first two years.