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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2008 * Archive through January 31, 2008 * Hop shortage effects on the homebrew level < Previous Next >

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Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 8353
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.225.170
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 03:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I just heard from a homebrew shop with which I deal on occasion. Their new policy is to sell hops only in conjunction with grain or extract. For each ounce of hops the customer also must buy either two pounds of grain or three pounds of extract. Also, in no case (even if the customer buys 10 lbs. or more of grain or 15 lbs. of extract) will they sell more than 5 oz. of hops at any one time.

The policy is expected to continue until at least the late fall of 2009.

That's rather grim.

(Message edited by BillPierce on January 16, 2008)
 

Hophead
Senior Member
Username: Hophead

Post Number: 2689
Registered: 03-2002
Posted From: 167.4.1.41
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 04:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ouch. I'm gonna brew an IPA this weekend, I will toast in the northeastern direction...

Frankly, that seems like pretty poor planning on their part as they can store hops frozen for some time, and there has been plenty of warning on the hop shortages, eh?
 

Paul Edwards
Senior Member
Username: Pedwards

Post Number: 1512
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 69.208.158.39
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 04:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My LHBS now has a 4 ounce limit on hop purchases, so they can make sure they have enough inventory for the kits they sell, and they've raised their prices for all the various hops, tho not by as much as some of the places I've seen on-line. They buy their pellets in 11 kilo O2 barrier bags, and for now they've still got a decent selection. They're having a harder time getting whole hops and plugs (they carry the American Hop Plug line).

They're making an effort to stem the inevitable hoarding.

Me? I'm in good shape, due to some earlier purchases and my Rival Seal-a-Meal vacuum sealer
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 8354
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.225.170
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 04:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Paul, I suspect your LHBS buys 5 kg (11 lb.) boxes of hops in barrier bags. That's the format HopUnion uses to sell to brewpubs and micros. I, too, have a source for 5 kg lots, but the price has shot way up to the point where some varieties are $150 per box and others are out of stock and expected to remain that way.
 

Paul Edwards
Senior Member
Username: Pedwards

Post Number: 1513
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 69.208.158.39
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 05:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I did type kilo, didn't I? I was thinking 5 kilo then must have done a metric-to-english conversion in my head when I typed the size of the bag.

Oops. I used to be good at doing arithmetic and keeping track of units in my head, back when I used a slide rule, way back in the last half of the last century
 

mikel
Member
Username: Mikel

Post Number: 166
Registered: 02-2001
Posted From: 4.246.254.36
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 07:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Anybody seen the prices of hops at Northernbrewer lately? Last time I checked they were around $5-6/ ounce!
 

Ryan Messenger
Junior Member
Username: Rem

Post Number: 39
Registered: 10-2007
Posted From: 74.34.7.108
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 08:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill, you wouldn't happen to be talking about Niagara Traditions would you? If you are, I noticed that on their web site too. Also, it's probably not totally poor planning on their part, more that they just cannot get enough to satisfy the bulk orders they would receive by people who want to stock up due to the shortage. It's crazy. I just ordered hops from them one month ago and was pleased to see that their price was still around $2 per ounce. That has since changed, and like Mikel said, it has changed a lot on some web sites.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 5243
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 216.23.55.202
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 09:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I will admit that I was taken by surprise by the magnitude of the shortage. I thought that prices would rise a bit and some varieties would be scarce, but in the time span of about two weeks, life changed a lot and has not gotten much better.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 8355
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.225.170
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 09:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ryan, yes, the homebrew shop in question is Niagara Tradition in Tonawanda (Buffalo), NY. I haven't had a chance to talk to them about it, but Paul and Becky Dyster are good people who have been in business for quite a while, and they generally have the best interests of homebrewers at heart. I have to assume that things are indeed getting a lot worse in terms of the hop supply. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. There has been hoarding since the shortage was first announced back in September.
 

dhacker
Senior Member
Username: Dhacker

Post Number: 1297
Registered: 11-2002
Posted From: 72.4.22.214
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 09:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I guess I'm happy to be in decent shape on hops. I take great glee in knowing hop hoarders will be opening bags of stale, cheesy hops before they're able to use them all.

Serves 'em right.
 

Jim O'Conner
Senior Member
Username: Roguejim

Post Number: 1033
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 67.133.59.72
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 09:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill, the exact same thing is happening in southern Oregon with the local LHBS. He says his supplier is not supplying enough hops, so hops rationing has begun, and you must purchase extract in order to purchase hops. I think his limit is 2oz.
 

Dick the Brewzzer
Junior Member
Username: Brewzzer

Post Number: 64
Registered: 01-2007
Posted From: 68.42.203.208
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 11:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It's business as usual at my LHBS. ALL the varieties are available and the prices have not increased. You guys are spooking me. Maybe I'd better buy thirty bucks worth while I can.

The grain prices have gone up, though.
 

Ryan Messenger
Junior Member
Username: Rem

Post Number: 40
Registered: 10-2007
Posted From: 74.34.7.108
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 11:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I just started brewing in October and right away was hit with talks of hop shortages. At first I thought people were makeing a big deal about a little problem, but I have since changed my mind. A month ago I purchased enough hops to keep me brewing for a while, but certainly not enough to put me anywhere near the title of "hop hoarder." However, I figured that I will take a serious look at growing my own hops, but when I looked into that I realized that by the time my hops became productive the shortage should be over. Now I figure that I will use what I have and try whatever hops are around when I need more. A BYO article made a good point that it might make us more open to trying different hops that we might end up liking.
 

Bob Wall
Senior Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 1317
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 139.76.64.66
Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 12:44 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have Cascades growing in my backyard and I get a pretty good yield. Only problem is I let them go fallow every year as I never have time to tend them come harvest time.

This year I vow to actually harvest and use them!
 

Pete O
New Member
Username: Peteo

Post Number: 13
Registered: 10-2007
Posted From: 75.21.69.65
Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 05:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My LHBS has had a similar policy in place for a little while. The weird thing is that so far I've still been able to get Cascades, which I figured would have been cleaned out ages ago. But when I asked for Amarillo he said "not for at least another year."


(Message edited by PeteO on January 17, 2008)
 

Joe Williams
Member
Username: Joewilliams

Post Number: 122
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 214.13.212.26
Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 06:05 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I knew there would be issues this year but I figured I wouln't be effected because I'm in Iraq Aug07-Nov08. I got my mid tour leave coming in February so I thought I would dust off the equipment with a CAP and an English Mild. I went to my favorite IHBS and was stunned to see the lack of variety and prices of what they actually had. I'm just glad I'm only brewing twice this season.

How about that, there's actually a silver lining in this OIF deployment cloud.
 

Tony Legge
Intermediate Member
Username: Boo_boo

Post Number: 319
Registered: 05-2005
Posted From: 142.162.65.208
Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 10:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This year will be my third year of growing hops and this past year saw a fair yeild from the few plants I have. I'll be planting more this year. The APA's I made using my homegrown cascade were awesome.
 

John Ferens
Member
Username: John_ferens

Post Number: 226
Registered: 05-2003
Posted From: 71.60.245.60
Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 12:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Joe,

Thank you for your service and sacrifice. Should you ever be in the Pittsburgh area, look me up and we'll hoist a few.

Cheers!
John.
 

William J hearne
New Member
Username: Hurnbrau

Post Number: 1
Registered: 01-2008
Posted From: 4.242.192.205
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008 - 07:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am starting a small hop growing operation in my back yard. I plan on three plants climbing the guy lines to a single pole. My hop yard, a loose term, will be 6 ft square with the plants a bit over four ft apart.

Does any one have any advice for a just starting out hop farmer? Prost, Will Hurn
 

Jason Bentley
Member
Username: Pacoustic

Post Number: 138
Registered: 09-2005
Posted From: 66.17.95.66
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008 - 08:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My LHBS has had a policy in effect of not selling hops only at least since the hop shortage. I buy just about everything from him and he hasn't appeared to lack in selection yet. He's a great guy and his prices are competitive with most of the mail order houses so I have no problem buying from him.

When speaking to my Grandfather about the hop crunch his reply was. "Get me some plants I'm retired and my grapes don't take that much care anymore."

Ya just gotta love a guy like that. I'm hoping to get my hands on 10-20 plants and run lines from the top of the grain bin.
 

Tim Wi
Advanced Member
Username: Riverkeeper

Post Number: 959
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: 170.141.68.2
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008 - 09:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My LHBS

8 oz hop maximum purchase, no more than 4 oz of any variety.

$6.30 per oz of most popular varieties, $3.00 per oz of lesser known varieties was cheapest. Many varieties were unavailable.

T
 

Connie
Senior Member
Username: Connie

Post Number: 1139
Registered: 10-2000
Posted From: 76.17.52.96
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008 - 09:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

those prices would put me on the edge of not brewing.
 

Mike A.
Intermediate Member
Username: Mike_a

Post Number: 406
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 128.173.15.155
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008 - 10:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hops Direct is out until the new harvest and Freshops has very limited selection, which I'm guessing won't last long. I'll admit to buying more hops than usual as I don't see the situation improving.
 

Bierview
Intermediate Member
Username: Bierview

Post Number: 306
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 67.81.178.93
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008 - 11:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Looks like a lot of Hefe Weizen for a while.