Thursday, December 20, 2007

Hops to It

It's going to get a lot more expensive to drown our sorrows, leading to more sorrows. Here's a part of the newsletter I got today from the good folks at Alpine Beer Company (their Pure Hoppiness double IPA is one of my favorite beers, hophead that I am):

I will now try to explain, in a nutshell, what caused the eminent beer price increase. The supplies for beer making, malt (malted barley) and hops, are marketed on a global scale. A bad year somewhere in the world puts a supply strain on other parts of the world. The malt is competing with other crops that pay better. Bio fuels, corn in particular, are getting big government money to increase production in order to wean off our foreign oil dependence. Feed grains yield more because you can fertilize them more, and they don’t have to look as pretty. My malt prices for bulk malt, the cheapest malt I buy, went from $0.19/ lb. to $0.44/lb.

Hops and their disappointing returns have lowered the number of hop farmers from 250+ to 45. Hop growing acreage is down, and the world’s demand for high alpha hops is putting pressure on all hop varieties. My average hop price went up over $3.00/lb.

I use only premium quality malt and hops on a scale of a much larger brewery. I have also done my part in contracting ahead for my supplies. This is the best way to stabilize prices and assure an adequate supply. This increase will affect all breweries, even the big guys. Any future hop farmers out there?

So if I stop blogging to become a hop farmer, will you good people of the internets subsidize my work?



Blogger Smitty said...

You can count on the folks at my place.

8:40 AM  
Blogger George said...

I figured you folks would be in.

8:49 AM  
Blogger Trekking Left said...

As long as I don't have to do any manual labor.

10:44 AM  
Blogger Tessitura said...

I say lets hop to it!

2:28 PM  

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