Despite the massive growth of craft beer in the U.S., most of the country's hops production remains in the Pacific Northwest. Recently, however, several Indiana growers have been looking to change that.
At Purdue University, research assistant Natasha Cerruti is working to determine the best ways to reintroduce the crop to Indiana soil.
"We're just researching to see which varieties will grow best in Indiana," Cerruti said.
The university started growing and researching hops this year as the craft beer industry expands and the demand for local beer increases.
"Having an Indiana hop for Indiana breweries seems like a perfect match," Cerruti said.
That's why Kyle Taylor is hoping for the hops farm she started this year. It's the only one in the area and one of just a few in the state.
Taylor just wrapped up her first successful harvest and said she's hoping for many more to come.
"We would just like to see a shift in Indiana breweries using Indiana hops, and we need to get up to the point where, you know, not only are we picking and they are taking wet hops, but we need to get to a point where we have infrastructure for processing the hops," Taylor said.
Lafayette brewer Chris Johnson says he sees future potential for hop farming in the state.
"Years ago, pre-Prohibition, people were producing beers from ingredients that were grown right here in Indiana, so there is no reason we can't do that," Johnson said.
Just this week, Johnson said he purchased some of Taylor's hop crop and has already started brewing with it.
"It's right here in our back yard," Johnson said. "I mean, I drove my pickup over and picked up the hops, brought them back over and we brewed with them."
Hop farmers in the Lafayette area said this year's crop was such a success that they plan to double the size of their crops next year.