Czech hop report - 18th September 2008 Print
Czech hop production back to normal after two low years

The 2008 hop harvest in the Czech Republic is approaching its end. Saaz variety is now completely harvested. Although the final official results of the harvest will not be available until the end of November we estimate that due to the good climatic conditions, especially compare to the last two years, the crop results will be around long term average. Thanks to good results in the smaller production areas (Tirschitz and Auscha) we can eve talk about a better average. The average yields of the main SAAZ hop variety in the main hop growing region are up just above 1t/ha and also the average alpha content is better than in the last two years.

The harvest of the other Czech varieties should be finished this week. We expect an average crop of these varieties with a good alpha content. The individual yields of varieties are however very variable.

At this moment we estimate that the total Czech hop production in 2008 will be around 6500 t (with approx. 5300 t of Saaz variety). This result should help us to satisfy our long term commitments. Due to the cost development (rapid increases in prices of fuel, heating oil, wages, fertilizers, wire, electricity, etc) there have been also price increases in farm contract prices.

Some facts about Czech hop harvest 2008:

135 hop growers harvested hops in three hop growing regions (90 in the largest Saaz hop growing region).

Hops were harvested in the cadastral areas of 215 Czech villages (136 in the Saaz hop growing region, 48 in the Auscha hop growing region and 33 in the Tirschitz hop growing region).

The Czech hop growers used about 340 hop harvesting machines and 220 hop drying machine for the 2008 hop harvest.

The first grower started harvesting on 11th August in Tirschitz hop growing region and on 16th August in the Saaz hop growing region and the last will finish at the end of this week.

Protected designation of origin ZATECKY CHMEL is starting its second season

Following the successful registration of the European protected designation of origin "ZATECKY CHMEL" (Saaz hops) in May 2007 hops and hop products from the crop 2007 carried for the first time the label with logos of ZATECKY CHMEL and European protected designation of origin.

Many merchant companies used the opportunity in the last hop processing season and so for the first time in history the hop products from the Saaz variety grown in the Saaz hop growing region were delivered to the breweries with a unique label. Now we are starting a second season. In 2008 the hops for which the label can be used was grown in the Czech Republic in 136 villages with hop acreage of 3562 ha.

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Czech Republic - The home of the worlds' finest aroma hops

Czech Republic with the Saaz variety is the largest producer of fine aroma hops in the world. Apart from this main variety there is a successful production of new Czech varieties based in their breeding on Saaz hops. Sladek and Premiant are already well established in breweries, Agnus also shows very promising results. Recently a new aroma variety Harmonie and a bitter variety Rubin were registered. The certification process in the Czech Republic guarantees our customers the origin of the high quality Czech hops.