History of hop cultivation

Hop cultivation around Nowy Tomyśl began at the end of 17th century and was not very popular through the 18th century. Its development entered a new phase after the year 1838 and started to bloom. This change of the situation was due to Józef Jakub Flatau and his arrival in the town in autumn 1837, as one of the prominent experts in hop cultivation and trade. This German economist introduced modern techniques of hop cultivation, implemented changes in hop growing and in the trade in hop from Nowy Tomyśl. His own variety of hop, which was grown by him after many years of experiments, was a great success on many international and national hop exhibitions and fairs. It was also as good as varieties from Czech or Bavaria. At that time Nowy Tomyśl and the surrounding areas were the biggest hop grower in the whole Prussia. Since the year 1849 hop fairs were organized, where prices for hop were fixed. The fairs were attended by hop farmers and tradesmen from Czech, Germany, Scandinavia. Great quantities of hop were transported on Odra river with barges to Czech and on Warta river to Szczecin and Gdańsk, and further to Denmark and Switzerland. The year 1890 brought shrinking of cultivation areas and reduction of production. This state of affairs lasted till the year 1918. In the inter-war period production level underwent some fluctuations. During the World War II the occupants destroyed nearly 98% of cultivation areas. Nowadays hop is cultivated on the area of 90 ha.

In Nowy Tomyśl in the year 2002 a new branch organization of hop producers from the whole country was formed. It is called the National Organization of Hop Producers' Associations. The chairman of the Organization became Tadeusz Plenzler from Boruja Kościelna /who represented by that time Association of Hop Producers of Wielkopolska/. The new organization of Polish and regional Associations took over all responsibilities and tasks of the previous National Hop Producer Association from Lublin. The meaning of hop from Nowy Tomyśl is confirmed by the fact, that the seat of the organization is located in this town. Nowy Tomyśl is famous for hop production. For few years now the Association of Hop Producers of Wielkopolska is very active in Nowy Tomyśl as well as the company "Chmiel Wielkopolska", which is a well known group of hop producers from Poland.