With a little Citra and Mosaic on the way, the Hops Report from my freezer is looking good.
It must be increasingly stressful for commercial brewers to nail down hops for the year with all the new buyers out there. I bet a bunch of newer breweries might have a costly learning curve on hop acquisition.
So with contracts for hops, do you commit to buying a certain amount of a variety and pay up front? How can the farmer guarantee delivery?
As I understand it you have a contract to buy X amount at Y price over so many years. The farmers have clauses that take care of bad years. In the big shortage year, Saaz was only delivered at something like 2/3 the contracted amount. If anyone knows better, correct me.
Many of the start ups have recipes using the high demand hops, only to find they need to get a contract for delivery a couple of years from when they open. There is the spot market for the short term, but that can be expensive, unless there is a glut.