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Old 01-30-2008, 07:35 PM   #1
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Default Hop shortage affecting big boys?

I know the hop shortage has been an ongoing thing, but got to thinking. Other than prices/quality/availability to homebrewers, what about the big companies?

Sam adam's, and any other micro beer who does thousands of gallons a year. Do they get hit, and has anyone noticed the beers taking a hit? A buddy told me he had a 6pk of Sierra PA and he said it was less hoppy, I havent noticed this at all.

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Old 01-30-2008, 07:37 PM   #2
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They're definitely getting hit. Sam Adams for example isn't brewing th DIPA that won the long shot competition, because they can't get the hops they need. Sierra isn't less hoppy, his was probably old. The prices are going to go up and some beers will just not be made, but I doubt most breweries will dumb-down their beers because of this...

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Old 01-30-2008, 07:39 PM   #3
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Yeah I doubt Sierra changed the recipe or anything. It just depends when you buy it, sometimes its hoppier sometimes its not.

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Old 01-30-2008, 07:44 PM   #4
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If you think about the % cost of hops in homebrew then that % will be greatly reduced in commercial brews.

At a guess by a multiple (Division) of 3.

So it's not going to be any where near as big a deal to them and a $$$$ basis.
Now availability may be a different story.
But I think if the LHBS can get them then BMC and the big micros will have no problem.

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Old 01-30-2008, 07:45 PM   #5
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The hop shortage may not be impacting major breweries just yet. Most of them negotiate 1 or 2 year contracts for ingredients and lock in prices. Commodities vendors are always happy to do this provided that the order has enough volume.

We do the same thing with corn, oil, whey, seasonings and potato flakes where I work.

The question is whether or not the suppliers have the inventory to meet their obligations to these contracts.

I can say with a fair amount of certainty that I don't think AB will feel the squeeze anytime soon. They don't use a whole lot of hops in any of their beers to begin with, but they own hundreds of acres of hop farms - probably in Washington, but I'm not certain.

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Old 01-30-2008, 07:51 PM   #6
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Most of the larger breweries have hop contracts in place. This will assure that they get the hops that they need. However, some varieties will not be available whether you have a contract or not. I know of some local micros that are having to re-formulate recipes based on the hops available.

There is one large Washington micro that failed to obtain a hop contract before the shortage. I spoke to the owner this last weekend and he said that he currently has a 9 month supply of hops. After that, he's not sure what he's going to do. He is attempting to line up some deals now so that he can continue to brew after his current supply runs out.

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Old 01-30-2008, 08:05 PM   #7
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"Microbrewers are a drop in the BMC ocean and home brewers are an amoeba in that drop."

Many of the big companies have captive farms. Either owned out-right or under multi-year contracts. I've noticed the number of DIPA offerings is down. Also, people aren't heavily hopping styles that don't call for it. Should be very interesting at the Fests this year. I'm expecting more Belgians, Wits (and I hope) browns, porters & stouts.

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Old 01-30-2008, 08:19 PM   #8
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go on the probrewer.com forums and you'll see how it's impacting some of the smaller craft brewers...

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Old 01-30-2008, 08:33 PM   #9
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Well, it's got to hit them in some way at some point, but since they have contracts and all, I would expect it just means they will have to pay more, rather than being denied enough hops, which would mean higher prices to the consumer, but not necessarily recipe changes. I know I've heard of steep price increases coming soon for some of the more hoppy beers in my area, like DFH 90 minute IPA.

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Old 01-30-2008, 10:29 PM   #10
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Hop shortage really, I just made an IPA with an OG of 1.65, it had:

1 oz Nugget at 90min
1 oz Nugget at 60min
1 oz Cascade at 30min
1 oz Cascade at 15min
1 oz Cascade at 5min
2 oz Cascade at flameout

And an additional 2 oz cascade dry hopped....

Unfortunately for me my brewing software doesn't let me input all of these hops so I couldn't figure out the IBUs for the thing without getting out the old sliderule and the formula....

Perhaps I should have saved some of the cascade I had stockpiled, as it is one of my favorite hops. I dread the upcoming day when I have to open my last one pound bag of EKG.

I can't wait to taste it it is going to be deliciously hoppy, but alas it still has a few weeks to age.

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Last edited by Donasay; 01-30-2008 at 10:32 PM.
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