Cornell is helping the craft beer industry with a new program designed to help develop hops in New York State.

Craft Beer Breweries are growing fast across New York with close to 500 creating many jobs and producing 1.2 million barrels of craft beer each year.

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According to a news release from Cornell University, a NYS grant of $300,000 will help launch a new hops breeding program at Cornell AgriTech.

The program will be headed up by Larry Smart professor of horticulture at Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, to develop new varieties of hops and help the state’s growers overcome any challenges in the growing process.

The release states that qualifications for a brewery to receive a state license requires that at least 60% of the hops and all other ingredients must be grown in New York State

Rick Pedersen owner of Pedersen Farms a finger lake hops producer said “Consumers want ‘new and different,’ and this is why a hops breeding program is needed in New York state.”

 The new program will give more access to New York State breweries who are struggling to get the ingredients they need to produce product.

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Cornell’s Center for technology Licensing along with professor Smart will offer the developments to New York State growers first.

It is noted that some of the new varieties and findings could take several years.

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