Posted by: Nick Jiorle | February 26, 2008

The Hops Shortage 2008

   It seems that what has been feared by craft brewers and craft drinkers alike is happening… the hop shortage is wreaking havoc on microbreweries nationwide.   

     Mid-Atlantic Brewing News wrote a great article on this topic which I use statistics and facts throughout this post. Basically it comes down to the simple fact that there is not enough hops to go around.

     According to Gregg Wiggins, who wrote the article, “Brother Can You Spare Some Hops & Barley?” The problem is evident, 2007 produced the lowest yield of hops in America since 1981, well before the microbrewery boom.

     Farmers have started to use land once used to grow hops and barley to grow other, more profitable crops such as corn and soybeans according to Wiggins’ article.  So when hops were once at excess and  cheap, it has now become very expensive.  Dan Weirback of Weyerbacher Brewery (Easton, Pa) was quoted in Wiggins article, “What I bought last year for about five or six bucks a pound is now $18 or $20 a pound, if you can get them.”  This will most certainly force some microbreweries out of business.  It will definitely put some beers on hiatus because of lack of  ingredients.

     This will affect local breweries and bars that make their own beers because certain hops are used in different beers for taste and also because of the preference of the brewer. When the breweries run out of a certain type of hop they use in a beer they will have to change the hops used and this will alter the taste.

     This all means that patrons will be paying more for their microbrews to cover the higher cost of making the beer.

written by Nick Jiorle

Here are some links to other stories about the hop shortage:

http://byo.com/feature/1715.html

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,305638,00.html

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16245024

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Responses

  1. I love your page dude. The hops shortage seems tragic.


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