Points North, Ep. 26: Trouble brewing in hops industry

Aug 22, 2019

This week on Points North, hear how Michigan hops farmers are struggling to keep up with the craft beer boom. Plus, a look ahead on the future of the Traverse City Pit Spitters baseball team.

Ditching hops: 5 farms on Old Mission close in volatile market
A former hop farmer sells his picker to a nearby farm. More growers in the region are abandoning the crop because prices are so low.
Credit Taylor Wizner / Interlochen Public Radio

Five years ago hops were in high demand in Michigan, so farmers started experimenting with the crop. However, as beer tastes changed and breweries went looking for the next new thing, many northern Michigan hop farmers have been unable to make ends meet.

This year, more than a dozen hop fields throughout the region sit idle as their owners wait for prices to rise or decide to close their farms for good.

Hear how and why hops farmers are closing up shop.

Pit Spitters say 'bigger, better' season coming in 2020
The Traverse City Pit Spitters won the Northwoods League Championship in their first season.
Credit Traverse City Pit Spitters

The Traverse City Pit Spitters are going to have a hard time topping the 2019 season. The team broke a Northwoods League record by winning 18 games in a row.

They won the league championship with a dramatic, come-from behind 3-2 victory. Now the team is getting ready for their second season both on and off the field.

Hear more about the momentum the Pit Spitters hope to carry into 2020.

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