Esquire: Craft Beer Consumption Rate Could Cause Hop Shortage

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by JohnCassillo, Feb 27, 2014.

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  1. JohnCassillo

    JohnCassillo Initiate (0) Mar 29, 2013 California

    Boca-X likes this.
  2. Hop-Droppen-Roll

    Hop-Droppen-Roll Initiate (0) Nov 5, 2013 Minnesota

    Stout time!
    Snowdog and MrDave like this.
  3. Hop-Droppen-Roll

    Hop-Droppen-Roll Initiate (0) Nov 5, 2013 Minnesota

    a) I thought alpha WAS aromatic hops
    b) This article totally contradicts itself where it mentions how so many new hop farms are popping up all over the world... Seems like the problem is solving itself...
    Boca-X likes this.
  4. GregoryVII

    GregoryVII Initiate (0) Jan 30, 2006 Michigan

    Brewers contracting their hops from farmers helps avoid shortages. Hop farmers want to know they can sell what they produce and by having contracts they know how much to plant. Hop shortages in the past have taught smart brewers to establish relationships with hop farmers. This is a good thing for brewers and hop farmers. This isn't some sort of hop snatching frenzy the article paints it as.
    hopfenunmaltz likes this.
  5. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,820) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    You need to look at the % oils to get some idea of the aromatics. Some high alpha hops have little, some newer ones a lot.

    Then those ones popping up all over do not have access to the proprietary hops like Simcoe, Citra, Mosiac and so on. They grow the public domain hops. So those others will be controlled to get premium prices.
    GregoryVII likes this.
  6. SaCkErZ9

    SaCkErZ9 Poo-Bah (2,564) Feb 27, 2005 South Carolina
    Society Trader

    Screw that. Lets all drink Gruits with such memorable flavors as lilac, poison ivy, and thistletoe.
    Duff27 and DavidHume like this.
  7. Rekrule

    Rekrule Initiate (0) Nov 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    The beginning of the new gruit era.
  8. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Initiate (0) Mar 18, 2010 California

    This may be a dumb question but I have no brewing expertise whatsoever - can hops be reused for additional brewings after first use?
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  9. WillyB123

    WillyB123 Initiate (0) Feb 21, 2014 California

    They probably could. The commercial arena wouldn't (I don't think) resort to this. But if it was prohibition and there was also a hop shortage and you were making some homebrew in small batches, you could.
    Basically, no.
  10. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,820) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    There was talk of reusing dry hops to bitter beer during the hop shortage. Only if you have to is what I got out of it.
  11. VitisVinifera

    VitisVinifera Initiate (135) Feb 25, 2013 California

    without reading the article, there is one thing I know:

    If there is a perceived future shortage of any crop, California can and will grow it. There so much fast changing and high value agriculture here, there won't be any real shortages of high value ag.
    Johnny_Muir likes this.
  12. DoubleJ

    DoubleJ Poo-Bah (5,809) Oct 13, 2007 Wisconsin

    We had one years ago, and we know how things worked in the end.
  13. devlishdamsel

    devlishdamsel Initiate (0) Aug 1, 2009 Washington

    ? As far as I know, quite a few stouts use a decent amount of hops as well( check their ibu profile), otherwise they would be insanely sugary and not palatable.
    Perhaps it's time to start growing hops in Sonoma again.
  14. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,820) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Hop growing has low margins. California used to grow a lot of hops, but that stopped a long time ago.
    jesskidden likes this.
  15. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,108) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    And pretty high start up costs, as well - since it takes a couple of years for the hops to reach full maturity, and the specialized equipment needed for harvesting, picking and drying isn't just something you can drive down to the local John Deere dealership and buy on credit.

    IIRC, growing hops on a wide-spread commercial scale in California's Sacramento Valley ended in the 1970s. (So, I suppose "a long time ago" is relative :wink:).
    #15 jesskidden, Mar 1, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2014
  16. Johnny_Muir

    Johnny_Muir Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2014 New Jersey


    "...a survey revealed hops consumption has been increasing steadily at a rate of about 13.5% per year... As American hops farmers only have the capacity to handle ten to fifteen percent growth per year, this is a problem..."
    Hop-Droppen-Roll likes this.
  17. Johnny_Muir

    Johnny_Muir Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2014 New Jersey

    Good question, outside my realm, but I do know that grains can be used post-brewing as feed for cattle. So thats good!
  18. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,820) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Yeah, relative. Hops were grown near SF until the 50s or so, Sonoma until the 60s or so. The Barth Haas Hop Atlas stated that the land became more valuable to raise subdivisions than hops Around SF and Sacramento. Sonoma got planted in grape vines.
  19. Boca-X

    Boca-X Initiate (0) Jan 21, 2014 Missouri

    With no official knowledge on the subject I'll comment. Everything is possible? I would think after being "used" they would have much less punch the second go around? However, maybe they could be used in a less hoppy brew? I know friends who will fill up their coffee filter to the top and make a pot...after pot is finished, do an additional pour over. The second pot is weaker but very drinkable. To clarify, they only do this when we go camping and no...I've never done it :confused:
  20. Hop-Droppen-Roll

    Hop-Droppen-Roll Initiate (0) Nov 5, 2013 Minnesota

    correct! my bad. The gruit guys made the joke more effectively.
  21. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,108) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    The vast majority of US breweries, both "macro" and "craft", use pelletized hops or even hop extract- there's really nothing left of those hops after brewing (or dry hopping).
    Relik likes this.
  22. Relik

    Relik Initiate (101) Apr 20, 2011 Canada (NS)

    And using leaf hops would be counter productive considering you would need roughly 10% more to achieve the same result.
  23. Beeryurt

    Beeryurt Initiate (0) Mar 8, 2013 Wisconsin

    In SW Wisconsin I noticed a lot of hop farms popping up, also have a former co-worker who just turned half of the family farm outside of stevens point over to hops. From what I understand it takes around 3 to 4 years to get a good crop going but once you do the return is double what you get from corn, plus the soil in WI works great for growing
  24. Beeryurt

    Beeryurt Initiate (0) Mar 8, 2013 Wisconsin

  25. spicoli00

    spicoli00 Defender (625) Jul 6, 2005 Indiana

    it does take some time for the hop plants to fully mature, but depending on the variety and conditions, you can still get upwards of 70-80% efficiency even in the first year. I wonder if hops were grown indoors if the efficiency would improve even more in the first couple of years.
  26. Beeryurt

    Beeryurt Initiate (0) Mar 8, 2013 Wisconsin

    Funny reading more on it the whole shortage as more to do with people just forgetting how to grow them, use to be a major cash crop but just fell to the wayside, now people are having to relearn the skill for the new craft beer boom
  27. BeerVikingSailor

    BeerVikingSailor Savant (932) Nov 19, 2009 Ohio

    Or, you could do like I did recently.....ordered some hop rhizomes from a local homebrew shop, so I will be growing my own Cascade / Nugget / Zeus hops in my backyard hop yard!
    No hop shortages for me!
  28. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,820) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    They grow like weeds, I have 11 plants. The issue is you need special equipment for acreage. Like most crops, they used to be picked and processed by hand. I can tell you that is not fun.
    jesskidden likes this.
  29. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado

    Conspiracy theory time. This article was force-fed to Esquire by BMC so they can start a new marketing campaign: Due to an imminent hop shortage, craft beer drinkers should gravitate toward their "craft" offerings that don't use as many hops so they can conserve hops.
  30. Adirondack47

    Adirondack47 Initiate (0) Dec 25, 2013 New York

    I currently sit about an hour away from the Mohawk Valley where a sound majority of the hop farms that provided the raw ingredients for Milwaukee's beer boom in the late 1800's and early 1900's are. The industry died out in the 10's and 20's but there has definitely been a resurgence in new hop farms and a general spirit to recapture some of the former glory that the hop farms brought. The biggest impediment to this is talked about at length on the beerwaves here and without a doubt it is the difficulty in the process of harvesting the hops.
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