Beer drinkers beware: Shortage to boost costs

MAV

Registered User
Nov 23, 2005
10,578
1
368
Denver, CO
#1
Undersupply of one key ingredient — hops — could impact flavor too

SUNNYSIDE, Wash. - Fans of Snipes Mountain Brewery’s cloudy Hefeweizen relish the subtle wheat flavor of the bright, summery brew, and like beer drinkers everywhere, they know when their favorite brew tastes a little too hoppy or bitter.

Connoisseurs could be in for a surprise this year, and they may not be alone.

Small brewers from Australia to Oregon face the daunting prospect of tweaking their recipes or experimenting less with new brews thanks to a worldwide shortage of one key beer ingredient and rising prices for others.

Oh, and one other thing: Beer prices are likely to climb. How high is anybody’s guess. Craft brewers don’t have the means to hedge against rising prices, like their industrial rivals.

“I’m guessing, at a minimum, at least a 10 percent jump in beer prices for the average consumer before the end of the year,” said Terry Butler, brewmaster at central Washington’s Snipes Mountain.

Sales have been relatively flat in recent years among the country’s big three brewers — Anheuser-Busch Cos., Molson Coors Brewing Co. and SABMiller PLC. unit Miller Brewing Co — while small, independent brewers have experienced tremendous growth. The craft brewing industry experienced a 12 percent increase by volume in 2006, with 6.7 million barrels of beer. Sales among microbreweries, which produce less than 15,000 barrels per year, grew 16 percent in 2006.

Now the bright spot in the brewing industry is facing mounting costs on nearly every front. Fuel, aluminum and glass prices have been going up quickly over a period of several years. Barley and wheat prices have skyrocketed as more farmers plant corn to meet increasing demand for ethanol, while others plant feed crops to replace acres lost to corn.

A decade-long oversupply of hops that had forced farmers to abandon the crop is finally gone and harvests were down this year. In the United States, where one-fourth of the world’s hops are grown, acreage fell 30 percent between 1995 and 2006.

Australia endured its worst drought on record. Hail storms across Europe damaged crops. Extreme heat in the western United States hurt both yields and quality.

Big brewers can hedge against rising prices for raw ingredients and can negotiate better, longer-term contracts for ingredients, while smaller brewers generally are left with whatever is left.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21491206
 

Nortonsmeatytit

"That ball is outta here"
Sep 11, 2005
1,023
0
0
Philly
#4
The price of just about everything food oriented has gone up significantly in the past year. Everytime I go food shopping anymore I'm like WTF? I spoke to the guy that owns a local pizza shop the other day that I frequent a couple times a month and noticed he had just recently raised his prices, the guy told me his price of cheese fucking tripled in the last 6 months and meat is up 60% also and that he couldn't afford to absorb the cost increase and had to pass it along.
 

jackjack

Registered User
May 12, 2007
4,994
0
0
Daytona Beach
#5
It doesn't look like it's going to get any better any time soon, either.
Oil prices affect fertilizer, machinery for working the land, and moving the product.
Then the stupid ethanol craze makes the land and resources used for corn that doesn't get sold to cattle farmers.
And lately growers can't hire a decent cheap wetback any more for fear of getting fined, so labor costs are going up.

It sucks, and it's here for a while.
 
Dec 25, 2005
10,005
172
513
NJ
#7
This sucks, but I guess there's not a whole lot we can do about it.

Not like it's a tax or something.
 

click

Registered User
Jan 5, 2005
6,198
159
558
N. Jersey
#9
I was thinking about growing my own weed, guess i'll have to grow hops now too. anyone wanna go halfsies on some farmland:icon_mrgr
 

jackjack

Registered User
May 12, 2007
4,994
0
0
Daytona Beach
#10
and the dollar being in the crapper don't help
I can't think of why it would hurt.
Domestic sales shouldn't care what the dollar is worth outside the country, and the stuff we export is bringing in the same dollars it always did. the buyers are just getting a better deal.

I could easily be missing something obvious, though. I really don't know shit about global economics.
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
42,665
9,670
848
#11
I was thinking about growing my own weed, guess i'll have to grow hops now too. anyone wanna go halfsies on some farmland:icon_mrgr
did you know?

that hopps and cannibis are in the same family

as for the beer prices going up i will gladly pay more for a craft brew than drink swill
 

Sprite

permanent case of the Moooondays
Apr 27, 2005
3,834
2
0
Jersey
#12
This is an outrage. Rabble rabble rabble!! Rabble rabble!!!!
 

Balogny Tits

It's not that were better, were just less worse
May 26, 2005
1,049
2
236
Canada
#13
I was thinking about growing my own weed, guess i'll have to grow hops now too. anyone wanna go halfsies on some farmland:icon_mrgr
:clap::clap::clap: halfsies on farmland ...lol
 

Chino Kapone

Yo, whats wrong wit da beer we got?
Jun 10, 2005
16,959
2,196
608
#15
its the lack of bees maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan.....
 

Mother Shucker

I'm over here now.
Oct 13, 2004
20,450
812
493
Your Mom's box.
#16
A fucking loaf of Strohmans potato bread is over 3$
Milk is hovering around 4$.
Fucking chop meat is over 3$ a pound.

And I just got the best raise in ten years. A whole fucking 10% OVER THREE FUCKING YEARS. Doomed.
 
May 24, 2005
528
0
166
Charlotte, NC
#17
I was buying some microbrews last night and several were around $8-9 for a six pack. That's very unusual here in NC. Usually you can buy a domestic six pack for about $5 and a micro for $6-7. So prices went up about 25% in just a few weeks.

That sucks balls.
 

TheDrip

I'm bi-winning.
Jan 9, 2006
5,051
3
228
#18
Rubbing alcohol is still sitting at $1.50 a pint. A guy's gotta have options.