Hops Crisis Looms – This year’s beers aren’t hop-pining!

by | industry




Severe storms in the Midwestern United States have wiped out much of this year’s hop harvest.  Many brewers and suppliers are having difficulty finding sources for their hops.  Breweries are forced to cut back on their use of hops, or find suppliers outside of the United States.  This hop shortage will have a ripple effect through out the world as American breweries increase the demand for hops worldwide.  Some breweries have removed their IPA from their offerings, since it uses too many hops.

hops

These hops might be hard to find in the future, so better start growing your own!

For homebrewers the crisis might be even worse.  Breweries have found themselves on waiting lists for hops.  Homebrewers do not have the purchasing power that most breweries have.  If their local homebrew store does not have a solid supply, they may not be able to make beer for some time.

One large ingredient supplier, Northern Brewer, sent out an email to their customers today.  They indicated that “the 2007 crop is not yet ready for shipment, and the 2006 crop is nearly sold out”.  The 2007 crop is on its way, but it is expected to fall far short of demand.  They also stated that the problem may last for several years.

Last month prices were about $4 USD per pound.  Prices are currently around $50 USD per pound.  Not only will it be more expensive for homebrewers to brew, commercial beer will be much more expensive.  To make beer, homebrewers will need to be more creative with their bittering.  Homebrewers will need to experiment with newer hops, or even alternative ways to bitter the beer.


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DJ Spiess

DJ Spiess

Beer buddy

I live in Denver, Colorado. This blog is everything about beer, wine, cider, mead and other spirits.
I am a avid homebrewer and winemaker. I’ve been making my own beer and wine for many years. I started making beer when I was in college (mostly because the drinking age in the United States is 21). My first few beers were horrible. The beers are much better now, and I often supply my neighborhood with free beer! It is a great hobby!