The contents of your pint glass have a much richer history than you could have imagined. Through the story of the hop, Hoptopia connects twenty-first century beer drinkers to lands and histories that have been forgotten in an era of industrial food production. The craft beer revolution of the late twentieth century is a remarkable global history that converged in the agricultural landscapes of Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The common hop, a plant native to Eurasia, arrived to the Pacific Northwest only in the nineteenth century, but has thrived within the region’s environmental conditions so much that by the first half of the twentieth century, the Willamette Valley claimed the title “Hop Center of the World.” Hoptopia integrates an interdisciplinary history of environment, culture, economy, labor, and science through the story of the most indispensible ingredient in beer.
Peter A. Kopp is Assistant Professor of History at New Mexico State University, where he also serves as Director of the Public History Program.
"Everyone who enjoys beer, especially craft beer, should read this book. Deeply researched and captivatingly written, Kopp’s book is an education in the global transformations that made possible the Americas' revolution in beer. Hoptopia will change how readers think and—most importantly—how they taste their favorite hoppy beers."—Mark Fiege, Montana State University
"Peter Kopp has produced a masterful work in Hoptopia. He creatively brings together agriculture, agronomy, science, environment, labor, and market economics to tell this story of hop production in Oregon's Willamette Valley. What's beer without hops? What's the history of that crop without all of the important connections explained so well here? Hoptopia is a must-have book for all interested in the history of the Pacific Northwest and for all who love beer."—Sterling Evans, University of Oklahoma
"Hoptopia finally encapsulates the noble role of the lowly hop cone in the world of quality beer. Peter Kopp deftly weaves the story of how American hops—and particularly Oregon hops—went from a laughingstock of the beer world to an ingredient highly sought after by brewers worldwide. Cheers to Hoptopia!"—Karl Ockert, Director of Brewery Operations, Deschutes Brewery
"Imagine a Venn diagram with hops, a crucial ingredient in making beer, in the center, attached to circles containing farming, agronomy, climate, ecology, business, labor, gender, race, class, festivals, globalization, and utopias. As the title of Peter Kopp’s entertaining and informative history of hop farming suggests, the story of hops is regional history placed in contexts of world history. Like the beers that hops make palatable, this book nourishes and stimulates. Imbibe!"—Bernard Mergen, author of At Pyramid Lake
"Peter Kopp has taken seriously the advice of many environmental historians to begin with the natural world and ask questions about human engagement. In this fascinating history of a plant and its place in the Pacific Northwest, we get everything from transnational economic competition to indigenous labor to modern bio-scientific research—and all of it also packaged to give us a new viewpoint on the world's most popular alcoholic beverage."—William L. Lang, Portland State University
"Cheers to this fascinating agricultural history of the aromatic hops that infused America’s craft beer revolution. Kopp relates the rich biological, scientific, social, labor, and industrial history of the development of Oregon’s Willamette Valley as a major hop producer. Along the way, he reveals the complex connections between global markets and the local landscapes and people who transformed the way many of us imbibe beer."—Marsha Weisiger, Julie and Rocky Dixon Chair of U.S. Western History, University of Oregon