Synopses & Reviews
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 indispensable ingredient in beer.
"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
"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
"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
"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
About the Author
Peter A. Kopp is Assistant Professor of History at New Mexico State University, where he also serves as Director of the Public History Program.