A guy from work and I are going to grow on some of his land here in Northwestern Illinois (Quad City Area). What types of hops have people had the best luck with and any tips with this climate/area. -Thanks
I met a couple that go to my church who don't brew but like to grow hops as a hobby in the summer.
They grow Cascade, Hallertau, Redvine & Saaz . Of the 4, the Cascade does the best. I harvested just under 3 lb. last August. Next was the Hallertau at 2.5 lbs and the other two I didn't even bother with because I was sick of harvesting at that point and they didn't really produce all that well because of their age. The Cascade and Hallertau will be in their 8th season this summer so they are well established. This year, however, I plan on getting as much as I possibly can!
The native soil in the area is mostly clay but I know he hauled in a ton of topsoil before he planted the hops and he hauls in manure every spring and waters just about every day they don't get rain.
They live about 1/4 mile from Lake Michigan so the summers are relatively cool with the lake breeze as compared to even just a mile inland. I think that helps.
I planted Cascade and Hallertau last year and both grew well untill the unusually wet season we had took care of them. Along with everything else in my garden. A friend of mine who planted the same in a good location actually harvested about an ounce of each in the first season. He is out in Long Grove. I am in Davenport and am planning on a variety this year in a raised bed. I would think just about any of them will grow well.