The LUPPOLO.IT project, funded by MiPAAF with the D.G. n. 96732 of 12/28/16 and coordinated by the Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l’analisi dell’economia agraria CREA, is the first national research project on hop cultivation in Italy.

The project actually involves 10 CREA Structures with multidisciplinary competences that go from plant genetics, to production quality and to mechanization. Its biggest goal is to improve the sustainability and competitiveness of craft breweries by improving the quality and the competitive aspect of raw products, starting off with the hop that has to be used in the production of craft beers 100% made in Italy.

This project will also analyze the economic and structural dynamics of the brewing chain and will evaluate if any intervention or policy instruments will be needed to make the data fully transferable.

The success of the project’s goals will benefit the developing of short supply chains, which will be able to guarantee a better profitability to small and medium-sized producers as well as an easier access to quality products for the consumers.

In particular, the project will consists in:

  1. mapping the areas that are more suited to hop cultivation in regard to soil and climate factors;
  2. identify the most widespread international varieties of hop in Italy, estimate their adaptability to the different areas in agronomic and qualitative terms, evaluate post-harvest impact on the  qualitative characteristics as well as the impact on the sensorial aspects of the beer produced;
  3. think about the possibility of introducing a mechanized management of the hop fields that would reduce the amount of manpower in the entire hop cultivating system;
  4. analyze the genetic differences of spontaneous hops in certain regions of Italy as a preliminary phase of a future breeding program;
  5. estimate the plant health state of the hop fields involved, locating the plant diseases and pests widespread and the types commonly hit, with the intent of building up control strategies and prevent that from happening in the first place;
  6. identify and evaluate high quality barely that has a high production value, which can be used for the production of craft beers 100% made in Italy alongside the hop;
  7. analyze the economic and structural dynamics of the the craft brewing chain, benefiting cooperation process;
  8. transfer the data to the sector’s stakeholders

This “Italian” hop cultivation, if completely realized, will bring powerful innovations in the raw material’s qualities and in the final product’s ones, enhancing national terroir as a unique resource.