Beware beer drinkers: We are in the midst of a worldwide hops shortage, and microbrews are expected to be hit hardest. The confluence of bad weather in Europe and slowing production stateside has pushed up the price of hops between 20 and 80 percent. Although NPR reported on the upcoming shortage back in November, I was alerted to the news after coming across Samuel Adams' announcement of their Hop Sharing Program, which allows smaller craft brewers to buy 20,000 pounds of surplus hops at well below market value:
"The purpose of doing this is to get some hops to the brewers who really need them. So if you don’t really need them, please don’t order them. And don’t order them just because we’re making them available at a price way below market. Order them because you need these hops to make your beer. We're not asking questions, so let your conscience be your guide."
Image courtesy/Oregon State University
-- Brian Bernbaum