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Hops, the plants that give beer its flavor and aroma, are receiving serious consideration for cultivation in western North Carolina. The stalks can reach a height of seventeen feet. A number of farmers in the western counties see hops as an alternative to tobacco growing.
North Carolina State University is planting hops to see if the crop can replace tobacco as a cash crop in the state. The research may also allow local beer makers to produce beer using locally grown hops. 10 varieties are being grown to look for disease resistant varieties. The history of the crop’s use in beermaking is detailed.