Monday, Nov. 03, 2008

$460,752 for Beer Ingredient

Constituents in the Northwest must really like their beer. Well, at least enough that two representatives and four senators from Washington and Oregon — which included members from both parties — were able to get more than four hundred grand in the FY 2008 agriculture appropriations bill for hops, a main ingredient in the alcoholic beverage. The legislators contend that hops is a vital piece of the economy in their region — Oregon produces approximately 17% of the U.S. market share. The federal earmark mostly goes to the Northwest Hops Research program, allowing experts to investigate "critical issues" in the industry. Another plus: The research is also expected to produce new hop varieties that are disease and pest resistant.