Breweries select lots at the farms. They take the best examples from Brewers cuts on the table. There is a difference in the AA and oils from farm to farm, and even field to field.
Even though things have improved, the home brew trade is at the bottom of the hop totem pole. Not only are 1oz packages expensive, they are at the bottom of the bottom of the hop totem pole. Plus, I prefer to purchase as close as possible to the grower.
But, what about Hop Union and BSG Handcraft? Are the bulk hops you guys buy higher quality than these brands available to home brewers?
Regarding home brewers getting the bottom of the barrel (so to speak), shouldn't Hop Union and BSG Handcraft have similar buying power to a craft brewery and more buying power than a single home brewer buying bulk?
Edit: I am not trying to be argumentative. I prefer to keep using the more expensive per ounce hops unless they are inferior in quality. I have stopped buying bulk. I prefer to let the home brew store hold the inventory in hopes that I get fresh ingredients for each batch.
The left overs are often blended to give a uniform quality product. I am not sure if BSG or Hopunion (now YCHHOPS) do anything special for the Homebrew trade. BSG now has a Pelletizer in Yakima, so they are not depending on others for supply. Do they run the same quality hops when they are doing 1oz bags? That I don't know.
Brewers that can select, select the best hops, in their opinion. Right? Best meaning best for them, might might mean most similar to what they usually get.
I imagine the baggers of pellets pelletize a bunch and then start bagging. If pound bags smell better than ounce bags it probably because there's 16 times more hops in the bag.
Just my views of what I imagine is going on