Skip to comments.Rising beer prices could leave you tapped out
Posted on 01/26/2008 7:52:08 AM PST by DeaconBenjamin
Small brewers line up to pay premium prices for scarce ingredients
Double-whammy shortages of two main ingredients are threatening to send the price of beer significantly higher, just in time for the national drinking holiday known as Super Bowl Sunday.
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In September, Martin paid $4 for a pound for hops. By late October, he said, it was $50 a pound. Likewise, barley prices have almost doubled in the same period.
Just a few weeks ago, George Peterson, owner of Central Coast Brewery in San Luis Obispo, Calif., spent $160 to brew a batch of beer equal to eight kegs. Last week, he was spending a staggering $920 per batch.
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I'm not worried. There's no inflation in the US. BLS tells me so.
Yep. I doubt that barley and hops are included in the CPI. Just too volatile.
Sounds like a very good market for barley and hops.
Or is it inflation driving up the cost?
You got that right!
We may as well -drink ethanol-, it sounds cheaper.
The price change isn’t inflation; it’s supply and demand.
Fewer barley fields -—> higher prices.
Hops grow like weeds around where I live (outside Seattle). Maybe I should start growing and harvesting them.........
Why, are they double hopping the ethanol now?
I tried to brew Kvass a few months back. The main ingredient was bread. It did not turn out too good.
Let me know if you need a picker. I could use some sleep.
Is this just another example of "screw the little guy", or do the mass-producers of that gut wrenching panther piss they call beer get pinched like this as well?
I believe that they may have an amount of hops and barley in their concoctions, however small.
My first instinct on reading that is there will be a lot of farmers that would be very interested in growing hops if you can get $50 per pound, but then reading on in the story in the subsection "Changing the recipes", it appears that the amazing change in prices is due to flooding in Europe and a disastrous fire in a major warehouse housing hops.
Neither of those circumstances should be a factor in a year or two, so we probably won't see a large number of additional farmers looking at growing hops, and we should see the price drop from the stratospheric $50 per pound area.
Repel all taxes.
Reach for the hard stuff, parndner. And what state in the Union is the biggest consumer of Brandy?
I suppose many hop farmers have turned to corn farmers due to this whole ethanol craze, leaving a shortage of hop farmers.
Hopefully, they will all go back to hops, leaving a corn shortage.
Then, we can drill ANWR for oil like we should have done 10 years ago.
There were also several kiln fires.
What size batches are you brewing? Most IPA recipes use 4 oz. or less of hops per 5 gal. batch, which is still less than $10.
My last batch of bitter, brewed a month and a half ago, was still $25 or so to brew. Barley prices were unchanged ($.90/lb for 2-row, $1.15/lb for domestic, $1.79/lb for import) at my local brew store. Hops were up a bit, but not all that much.
$920 for 8 kegs works out to about $7.42/gallon just for ingredients. The article didn’t say what type of beer it was though. I’m still paying $3/pint and $6.75/ half gallon jug at my local microbrewery for stout and ales (think some of the other beers are up to 50% higher in half gallons). Either the impact is localized or my brewer is living on thinning margins.
Would like to try brewing my own. Recently got a copy of ‘How to Brew’ by John J. Palmer. Can one easily grow hops in a garden?
Rising beer prices could leave you tapped out....
congress and jorge should not give tax rebates....they should give beer rebates!!!!!
I make 10 gallon batches.
My “House IPA” uses 8 oz of Hops and 26 lbs of grain (yeah I know, its BIG).
It gets expensive quick.....
Farmers make more money growing corn for ethanol (Federal Subidies) so some quit growing barley and hops.
Tastes just like 190 proof.
Far be it for you to actually pay attention to what the BLS is saying. Apparently you'd rather look at one or two commodity prices and make up what you think you hear.
Kudos for actually reading the story.
Per capita - Wisconsin.
Anheiser Busch (Bud) has contracted with growers for hops in South East Missouri. And they may be genetically enhanced because they have sought to block other hops growers because of the possibility of cross pollination of their own UNIQUE blend of hops. I am not up on the issue, just recall something in the news last year. Maybe because of the genetically altered issue and how it also relates to corn growers cross pollinating with hybrids not of their own planting and the patent claims by the Seed Corn Companies.
As for barley, I have no idea who or where is growing barley, but I would assume the big brewers also have claim to genetically altered supply contracts, limiting free lance growers access to seed stock.
The hops are for their St Louis Brewery, and maybe others.
Yes, once established they grow like weeds.
Making fuel out of food (well beer) is a stupid idea. That’s what we get when we elect non-conservative Republican’s.
Well then, I’m gonna start smuggling hops over the border
oh yeah, its the ethanol stupid.
In my 50 + years of living in farm country I have yet to know a barley farmer. But I do know lots of long time corn and bean farmers.
I would imagine the USDA has planting data as to how much barley is planted and where. And I would assume the amounts of Bushels of harvest have always been insignificant compared to corn planting.
And the major brewers are probably contracting directly with barley producers, buying up supply. Demand goes up, more producers cash in, the law of supply and demand.
Have you tried mead?
Honey is expensive too.
I just don’t like Mead.
I think this should be part of the economic stimulus package, cut the price of beer (minorities hardest hit)
Price of a 40??
Can one easily grow hops in a garden?
http://www.freshops.com/rhizinfo.html for information, readily available varieties and and ordering.
An acre of farm land that can produce a year to year average of 150 bushels of corn costs ~$3000. At $4 a bushel that is $600 gross per acre. Now subtract out seed costs, fertilizer, herbicide, pesticide, land taxes, and equipment costs, and you get about $300/acre. If you had to finance the land to purchase it, the interest is going to be about $240/acre. This leaves you roughly $60/acre profit. That may sound like a lot, but a single man can’t farm more than about 600 acres of crops, which means an actual income before income tax (taking out employer & employee withholding) of $36,000 for a tremendous amount of work.
“....In my 50 + years of living in farm country I have yet to know a barley farmer.”
....there are several guys in my area (NC) that grow barley....I know, because I get barley straw from them...I wouldn’t call them barley farmers per se....they just grow it in their normal corn, beans, wheat rotation....if you home brewing guys need to find a farmer with barley, start with your county ag. extension agent....they’ll know all the farms in your area and if anybody might sell you some 50 lb bags full.
Inflation is getting a bit out of control Mr. Bernanke. I guess I’ll have to buy beer on the dips now.
Not volatile, effervescent.
On the other hand, what foodstuffs are more basic than bread and beer?
We need a Beer stimulus package and we need it now! There is no excuse for dragging our feet on this one. It’s a bloodbath over at the BrewThrough.
How do you define inflation?
How do you give rebates for rentals?
I gotta wonder if this story isn’t being milked for the most hyperbole.
There *was* a fire at a large warehouse in Washington state, that destroyed about 3 per cent of the domestic hop production. But my latest Northern Brewer catalog shows dozens and dozens of pelletized hops available for anywhere from $10 to $25 a pound. Not cheap, but obviously the article is using the most expensive, imported example they could find.
Anyone know the shelf life of DME? I did buy quite a bit in anticipation of higher prices. About 50 pounds or so.
Sounds like I’m growing the wrong crops here on the farm.I wonder if hops will thrive in northern Ohio?Barley will be a cinch.
What does Bud plan on doing with hops? I sure can’t hardly taste them in their *beer*. On the other hand, homebrews tend to be *overhopped* I think.
I fell in love with Hefe Weissen when I was stationed “over there”; and was buying them for 8 BUCKS a case of (20) twenty.
I have since bought everything required to brew my own, a 5 gallon propane boil pot, wort chiller, wyeast 3068, wheat malt DME, bottles, all kinds of stuff. I just need to get up the guts to make a few batches.
Inflation is always a monetary phenomenon. Higher prices aren’t necessarily inflation. Supply and demand, etc.