The hop crisis

Ive been reading about the disappointing worldwide hop yield. Apparently, brewers are going to see a huge increase in hop costs due to decreased supply. I guess we drinkers will be shelling out more for our beer.

I wonder how this will affect American brewing tradition. Will the added cost and reduced availability reduce the number of super-extreme hop-hog beers?  Will we see a shift toward milder English style ales? Will this give the Macros the ammunition to regain the market share they’ve been slowly losing to craft beer?

I think all three of these things will happen, and I’m hoping for a fourth: that , through the famous ingenuity of American brewes, the focuse is shifted to create new, session beer styles that could be every bit as emblematic of US brewing as imperial IPA. When the going gets tough, we adapt, right?

I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

-Mark

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “The hop crisis

  1. Or they just continue brewing the same things and raise the prices on our end. We will continue to buy their Imperial IPAs at higher prices even if we have to cut corners and scrounge for the money. ‘Cause when the going gets tough, we adapt, right?

  2. That’s true, and that’s how things will go as long as hops are available. but what if they actually become difficult for the little guy to get? What if A-B decides to use their financial muscle to buy out huge chunks of the hop crop? It’s gonna be an interesting year.

  3. Actually, you make a valid point. From what I hear of growing hops, this is a problem that could last for several years, as it takes 2-3 years for new hops to be ready for harvesting/brewing. An all out hop famine could be devastating for some micro brewers who can’t, as you suggest, adapt. The next few years could be a great time for those who can, with the creation of new styles based on a lower hop supply. I hope things right themselves soon though because I like my double IPAs, gosh darn it.

  4. The craft brewers will need to get smart and start looking for small, independent hop growers that can provide them the hops they need. BTW, A-B already uses their finacial muscle power and controls alot of the hops that are produced here in the USA. Just go to Hop Union in Yakima Washington and ask them what the miles and miles of warehouses are used for. They are basically holding areas for all of the hops A-B has already purchased.

    Don’t fret, the good craft breweries will find a way to continue producing fantastic beers. Some recipes might change a bit, but you will still get your big hopped beers for sure. A little pricier, but still worth every penny.

  5. On a recent trip to the capital for the Brewer’s Association event SAVOR, there were many discussions about the rising cost of beers and festival fees throughout the country. An even greater concern was around those patrons choosing to “Sammet a beer” in protest of these fee hikes. To “Sammet a beer” means to consume about half of its intended contents and leave the remaining as a symbol similar to flying the flag at half mast. This protest was seen througout the two day event and was disturbing to say the least. The brewers and hosts of the event have done their best to provide quality beers at reasonable prices for many years. The bottom line is when the cost of beer ingredients goes up, you’ve got to make a profit somewhere otherwise you go out of business. Respect your local brewers and DON’T “SAMMET A BEER!”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s