I am new to growing hops, but mine took off like a rocket compared to last year. Should I be concerned or am I just going to have an early crop?
No concern at all! You have a much more established root system. You may get an early crop, but I have found hops to have a pretty predictable harvest time, which I believe is more related to the amount of sunlight the plant is getting. You should get a bigger harvest this year though!
I find that the amount of sunlight, rain, and temperature in the summer can swing the pick dates by a couple of weeks. Last year the European varieties were ready to be picked around August 10. Most years they are on a little before Labor Day. Some other varieties can be done a week or two after Labor Day, but sometimes it is almost Oct. I have come to think that they are ready when they are ready.