Even today, hops are grown on family farms almost without exception. Around 1,000 producers cultivate hops on approximately 18,000 hectares of land. Up to just a few decades ago, the day-to-day care and harvest were carried out manually by around 200,000 seasonal hop pickers. Starting in the 1950s, the work began to be done by mechanical harvesting machines. Specialized hop processing and trading companies have arisen in the region as well.
The foremost hop research facility in the world is also located in the Hallertau. At the Bavarian Landesanstalt für Landwirtschaft (State Institution for Agriculture) and at the Gesellschaft für Hopfenforschung e.V. (Society for Hop Research) located at the Hop Research Center in Hüll, the production methods and breeding are coordinated with the requirements of the international brewing industry.
The Hallertau is the largest single hop-growing region in Germany.
The Hallertau is the largest single hop-growing region in Germany. Evidence for hops being cultivated in the Hallertau, also known as the Holledau, can be traced back 1,300 years. The Hallertau has traditionally been divided into 15 districts, each of which is distinct from the other and possesses its own quality seal. In every district, hops are grown according to strictly monitored guidelines for which certification is required. The Hallertau primarily comprises the provinces of Pfaffenhofen, Kelheim, Freising and Landshut. The hop-growing provinces of Eichstätt, Neuburg-Schrobenhausen and the municipality of Hersbruck, east of Nuremberg, also belong to the protected area of the Hallertau. Not only can the herb grown in the Hallertau be found in almost all of the 5,000 beers brewed in Germany but one-third of the international thirst for hops is quenched by those grown in the region.