Discussion in 'Beer News' started by Todd, Sep 13, 2023.
A little bit ‘strange’ about craft beer sales declining.
In the linked article (Bend Bulletin 2021 article) there is mention of:
“The Beer Institute, which represents large brewers, reported a 5% to 6% decline in total sales in Oregon, said Bart Watson, Brewers Association economist.”
“Watson predicted that the coming year will show growth for the 312 Oregon craft brewers. Central Oregon has about 20 breweries.”
So, the prediction was there would be growth for 2022.
For overall (nationwide) craft beer sales in 2022 the Brewers Association published that it experienced a growth of 0.1%. Granted 0.1% is not much growth but it certainly is not a decline.
In addition, hops are a global commodity so even if Central Oregon (or the entire state of Oregon) had declining craft beer sales in 2022 this should not be the reason for declining hop acreage in the state of Oregon. Maybe the farmers simply decided to plant other crops for better financial returns?
Perhaps hop farming is expanding in other regions and countries, but hops that grow well specific to Oregon are on the decline? Just a theory.
Curious if this trend is also reflected here in Washington, or if less hops is grown in Oregon but more (or the same) is grown here. Also surprised to see that Idaho produces more hops than Oregon, I’d have thought it would be the reverse.
Overall US acreage is down but yield is level or even up. According to Stan Hieronymous this is largely the result of low yielding specialty varieties being over produced and their acreage being replaced by higher yielding alpha hop varieties. Also, the introduction of some new much higher yielding varieties.
I think that's mostly due to our friends at Inbev. The overwhelming majority of Idaho hops are grown exclusively for them.
It's worth mentioning that instead of comparing Oregon and Washington, it's more useful to compare the easy and west sides
I think they just own the largest single farm in Idaho and were early entrants into the state. I'm pretty sure Idaho is neck and neck with, and possibly has surpassed, Oregon in terms of hop production.
I'm not denying the total output. Cuz Inbev has most of Idaho's production locked down, but they also don't grow much that the "Craft Beer" is interested in.
Where are you getting these ideas from? Idaho grows all of the fancy American hops. They grew more Citra and Mosaic (by far the most popular "craft beer" hops) than Oregon did in 2022. You can see the official stats here
I dunno, reckon I'm just making shit up.
I reckon so. I think you're just living in the past really. I think AB was a leader in hop growing in Idaho at a time when people didn't really think Idaho could grow good hops. But it's been a wild couple decades for Idaho hop growing and its fully the 2nd leading hop producer in the country now. Neither Idaho or Oregon come remotely close to Washington (really just the Yakima Valley) though.
Yeah, Coors (which also bought some of the first Cascade hops) was also an early user of the Idaho hops, according to the entry in the Oxford Companion to Beer.
The framing of this article is so weird. No comparison of yield. No perspective that Yakima produces like 75% of US hops and they also have declines in acreage, yet are still hitting near records in yield. Yes, of course that tiny hop farm in Redmond will probably not make much money.
Is it possible that the demand for US grown hops is due to more hops being grown in other places in the world? I don't know anything about growing hops or where they grow, but am just thinking about how things that used to be grown a lot in the US is now grown in other places so a decline in US production is not a reflection of demand. An example is pineapples in Hawaii. Most of the pineapples used to be grown in Hawaii, but hardly any now and it has nothing to do with US consumption. It has to do with it being cheaper to grow in other countries.
Or they could just brew beer with pineapples since those are some of the same flavors they are trying to get out of the hops anyway
Maybe Michigan will take a big jump up from #4.
Easy explanation. Breweries only need blueberries and vanilla to brew beer these days. No hops necessary.
The "article" posted is astonishingly low effort. There is no great mystery about this trend. With the explosion of new aroma varieties over the last decade or so many of them ended up over planted as the industry settled on demand levels for specific varieties. At the same time, the explosion in breweries has ultimately led to a rising demand in high alpha acid hops. Add in growers gaining a mastery of the lower yielding specialty hops and breeders developing higher yielding alpha varieties and we end up needing slightly fewer acres of hops to meet the slightly growing demand for total hop production.
The sky is falling. If I search my local liquor store for IPAs I get hundreds of hits. If it had a catastrophic fall to 100 hits I'd live