Author Topic: Craft beer boom causing hops shortage  (Read 4722 times)

Offline Thirsty_Monk

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2491
  • Eau Claire WI
    • Lazy Monk Brewing
Craft beer boom causing hops shortage
« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2014, 10:46:36 am »
I guess small regional hop yards will get some business.
Na Zdravie

Lazy Monk Brewing
http://www.lazymonkbrewing.com

Offline Jeff M

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 821
  • Currently upgrading to Brewery 3.0
Re: Craft beer boom causing hops shortage
« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2014, 10:51:55 am »
I guess small regional hop yards will get some business.

+1.  Ive been buying from http://fourstarfarms.com/  They only have Whole Leaf atm but they are wonderfully fragrent.  I bought 8lbs from them last year and have already commited to buy another 20lbs of next years harvest.  Local or bust:D
Granite Coast Brewing Company.
Building a clone of The Electric Brewery to use as a pilot system for new recipes!

Offline duboman

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1578
Re: Craft beer boom causing hops shortage
« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2014, 11:10:23 am »

I guess small regional hop yards will get some business.
+1
I would think that the smaller players would be well suited directly to the market of the HBS outlet as well as the newer, small batch players and could prove to be quite profitable.

I'm still curious though as to how the growers are looking at this playing out in the longer term, meaning beyond the typical 5-7 year contract.

While I keep seeing large numbers of proposed new breweries in the pipeline and set to open there is also the failure rate to take into account, the current double digit growth if the industry has to plateau at some point as the market gets saturated and then what? Invested acreage and infrastructure with unplanted fields? What if people turned tired of every beer tasting like grapefruit and cascade or others are no longer the "desired"hops?

Personally I'm getting tired of shopping bottles and going to festivals where every beer is the same type of pale or IPA brimming with "citrus" "fruity" aromas just because it's what's "in"
Peace....Love......Beer......

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the craft of beer since 2010

Offline SiameseMoose

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 188
  • Cincinnati, OH
Re: Craft beer boom causing hops shortage
« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2014, 11:16:13 am »
Sadly this is short sighted on this particular brewer.  AA changes every year (and varies greatly with region the hop was grown in) and relying on a set amount of hops when you cant predict the AA is nuts.  As someone else said, having the flexibility of using different hops is something that people must learn to do, especially in the pro world.

I disagree strongly. Perle have been 8-9% for the last decade. This year they're suddenly 4%. How do you plan for that? Order a bunch more than you think you need? Small breweries have very tight margins. These guys have always ordered about 10% more than they forecast needing, and also trade hops heavily with the other breweries around.

It's not so simple as saying pro brewers need to be more flexible. Having sat in some of those meetings, try telling your distributor that you're changing a recipe. They scream bloody murder! In some states they're entitled to compensation dollars. If you change a recipe much you really need to rename it, or the public also screams. Creating a new name is an expensive proposition.
_____________________________________________________
Rob
I named my brewery after my cat, Moose. He's Siamese.

Offline Jeff M

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 821
  • Currently upgrading to Brewery 3.0
Re: Craft beer boom causing hops shortage
« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2014, 11:24:31 am »
Sadly this is short sighted on this particular brewer.  AA changes every year (and varies greatly with region the hop was grown in) and relying on a set amount of hops when you cant predict the AA is nuts.  As someone else said, having the flexibility of using different hops is something that people must learn to do, especially in the pro world.

I disagree strongly. Perle have been 8-9% for the last decade. This year they're suddenly 4%. How do you plan for that? Order a bunch more than you think you need? Small breweries have very tight margins. These guys have always ordered about 10% more than they forecast needing, and also trade hops heavily with the other breweries around.

It's not so simple as saying pro brewers need to be more flexible. Having sat in some of those meetings, try telling your distributor that you're changing a recipe. They scream bloody murder! In some states they're entitled to compensation dollars. If you change a recipe much you really need to rename it, or the public also screams. Creating a new name is an expensive proposition.

New hop crops get tested for AA right away.  They should of known at the end of last season that the hops where gonna take a dip in AA and planned accordingly, whether its buying secondary market hops or introducing something additional for extra bitterness.  Distribution issues are a completely different problem.

Also it makes me wonder if they are getting a mix of German and US Perle,  the German Perle is notoriously lower in AA then the US Perle.  Wonder if their contract is regional specific
« Last Edit: July 04, 2014, 11:47:03 am by Jeff M »
Granite Coast Brewing Company.
Building a clone of The Electric Brewery to use as a pilot system for new recipes!

Offline HoosierBrew

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 13031
  • Indianapolis,IN
Re: Craft beer boom causing hops shortage
« Reply #20 on: July 04, 2014, 11:34:54 am »
Switch to a more economical, clean Euro bittering hop like German Magnum ?  I would think most breweries will struggle with figuring out what finishing hops they can get to sub in for the "in" varieties.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2014, 11:37:12 am by HoosierBrew »
Jon H.

Offline duboman

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1578
Re: Craft beer boom causing hops shortage
« Reply #21 on: July 04, 2014, 11:44:54 am »

Sadly this is short sighted on this particular brewer.  AA changes every year (and varies greatly with region the hop was grown in) and relying on a set amount of hops when you cant predict the AA is nuts.  As someone else said, having the flexibility of using different hops is something that people must learn to do, especially in the pro world.

I disagree strongly. Perle have been 8-9% for the last decade. This year they're suddenly 4%. How do you plan for that? Order a bunch more than you think you need? Small breweries have very tight margins. These guys have always ordered about 10% more than they forecast needing, and also trade hops heavily with the other breweries around.

It's not so simple as saying pro brewers need to be more flexible. Having sat in some of those meetings, try telling your distributor that you're changing a recipe. They scream bloody murder! In some states they're entitled to compensation dollars. If you change a recipe much you really need to rename it, or the public also screams. Creating a new name is an expensive proposition.
then shame on the grower holding the contract to not notify those purchasing the contracts!

I deal in nursery stock and my growers always notify about any issues they for see in the coming years about availability, quality, disease, etc so when I design landscapes I have the information I need beforehand to make any necessary adjustments.
Peace....Love......Beer......

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the craft of beer since 2010

Offline Jeff M

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 821
  • Currently upgrading to Brewery 3.0
Re: Craft beer boom causing hops shortage
« Reply #22 on: July 04, 2014, 11:49:08 am »

Sadly this is short sighted on this particular brewer.  AA changes every year (and varies greatly with region the hop was grown in) and relying on a set amount of hops when you cant predict the AA is nuts.  As someone else said, having the flexibility of using different hops is something that people must learn to do, especially in the pro world.

I disagree strongly. Perle have been 8-9% for the last decade. This year they're suddenly 4%. How do you plan for that? Order a bunch more than you think you need? Small breweries have very tight margins. These guys have always ordered about 10% more than they forecast needing, and also trade hops heavily with the other breweries around.

It's not so simple as saying pro brewers need to be more flexible. Having sat in some of those meetings, try telling your distributor that you're changing a recipe. They scream bloody murder! In some states they're entitled to compensation dollars. If you change a recipe much you really need to rename it, or the public also screams. Creating a new name is an expensive proposition.
then shame on the grower holding the contract to not notify those purchasing the contracts!

I deal in nursery stock and my growers always notify about any issues they for see in the coming years about availability, quality, disease, etc so when I design landscapes I have the information I need beforehand to make any necessary adjustments.

I dont disagree.  The producer should be notifying. people.  But then as a business owner you should understand that hops vary year to year and proactively seek out that information.  It really comes down to the hand in hand partnership a beer maker should have with his supply chain.
Granite Coast Brewing Company.
Building a clone of The Electric Brewery to use as a pilot system for new recipes!

Offline duboman

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1578
Re: Craft beer boom causing hops shortage
« Reply #23 on: July 04, 2014, 12:52:59 pm »


Sadly this is short sighted on this particular brewer.  AA changes every year (and varies greatly with region the hop was grown in) and relying on a set amount of hops when you cant predict the AA is nuts.  As someone else said, having the flexibility of using different hops is something that people must learn to do, especially in the pro world.

I disagree strongly. Perle have been 8-9% for the last decade. This year they're suddenly 4%. How do you plan for that? Order a bunch more than you think you need? Small breweries have very tight margins. These guys have always ordered about 10% more than they forecast needing, and also trade hops heavily with the other breweries around.

It's not so simple as saying pro brewers need to be more flexible. Having sat in some of those meetings, try telling your distributor that you're changing a recipe. They scream bloody murder! In some states they're entitled to compensation dollars. If you change a recipe much you really need to rename it, or the public also screams. Creating a new name is an expensive proposition.
then shame on the grower holding the contract to not notify those purchasing the contracts!

I deal in nursery stock and my growers always notify about any issues they for see in the coming years about availability, quality, disease, etc so when I design landscapes I have the information I need beforehand to make any necessary adjustments.

I dont disagree.  The producer should be notifying. people.  But then as a business owner you should understand that hops vary year to year and proactively seek out that information.  It really comes down to the hand in hand partnership a beer maker should have with his supply chain.
absolutely, communication and planning are the key to any business relationship and when that breaks down both sides lose in the end.
Peace....Love......Beer......

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the craft of beer since 2010

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 25488
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: Craft beer boom causing hops shortage
« Reply #24 on: July 04, 2014, 01:33:07 pm »
Breweries usually contract for hops 2, 3 or more years in advance.  How can the grower notify the wholesaler, who would notify the accounts, about hops that haven't been grown yet?
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline Jeff M

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 821
  • Currently upgrading to Brewery 3.0
Re: Craft beer boom causing hops shortage
« Reply #25 on: July 04, 2014, 01:45:17 pm »
Breweries usually contract for hops 2, 3 or more years in advance.  How can the grower notify the wholesaler, who would notify the accounts, about hops that haven't been grown yet?

Watch doctor who? 

In all seriousness, it would only be valid for the current harvest during or directly after the harvest, when it would most directly impact the short term(the next year) planning of a brewery.  IMO it should be on the breweries shoulder to determine this info.
Granite Coast Brewing Company.
Building a clone of The Electric Brewery to use as a pilot system for new recipes!

Offline duboman

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1578
Re: Craft beer boom causing hops shortage
« Reply #26 on: July 04, 2014, 04:29:55 pm »

Breweries usually contract for hops 2, 3 or more years in advance.  How can the grower notify the wholesaler, who would notify the accounts, about hops that haven't been grown yet?
obviously Denny there is no crystal ball but this information can be determined prior and parties can be informed ahead of time if there is going to be a big swing with the current crop instead of surprise on the end users delivery.
Peace....Love......Beer......

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the craft of beer since 2010

Offline jeffy

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 4047
  • Tampa, Fl
Re: Craft beer boom causing hops shortage
« Reply #27 on: July 04, 2014, 05:15:21 pm »
Do breweries order ahead by the pound or by the pound of alpha acid?  It seems that they could contract for a volume of hops at a certain aa.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 11122
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
Re: Craft beer boom causing hops shortage
« Reply #28 on: July 04, 2014, 05:23:22 pm »

Do breweries order ahead by the pound or by the pound of alpha acid?  It seems that they could contract for a volume of hops at a certain aa.

I order by the pound and by the hop. I have a contract through hop union. I've also designed my recipes to not be as hop dependent as a lot of other breweries. We do have an IPA and a IIPA but these are not flagship beers and we can survive without them.

S. cerevisiae

  • Guest
Re: Craft beer boom causing hops shortage
« Reply #29 on: July 05, 2014, 06:57:43 am »
Personally I'm getting tired of shopping bottles and going to festivals where every beer is the same type of pale or IPA brimming with "citrus" "fruity" aromas just because it's what's "in"

+10,000

You are not the only person who is tired of encountering "me too" over-hopped citrus bombs.   The citrus bomb bubble is going to burst just like the amber beer bubble burst in the nineties.