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Rising beer prices could leave you tapped out
MSNBC.com ^ | By Alex Johnson

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.

* * *

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.

(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: barley; beer; homebrew
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In September, Martin paid $4 for a pound for hops. By late October, he said, it was $50 a pound.

I'm not worried. There's no inflation in the US. BLS tells me so.

1 posted on 01/26/2008 7:52:10 AM PST by DeaconBenjamin
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To: DeaconBenjamin

-—thank ethanol-—


2 posted on 01/26/2008 7:53:15 AM PST by rellimpank (--don't believe anything the MSM tells you about firearms or explosives--NRA Benefactor)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Yep. I doubt that barley and hops are included in the CPI. Just too volatile.


3 posted on 01/26/2008 7:55:16 AM PST by raybbr (You think it's bad now - wait till the anchor babies start to vote!)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Sounds like a very good market for barley and hops.

Or is it inflation driving up the cost?


4 posted on 01/26/2008 7:55:16 AM PST by o_zarkman44 (No Bull in 08!)
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To: rellimpank

You got that right!


5 posted on 01/26/2008 7:55:50 AM PST by Empireoftheatom48
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To: rellimpank

We may as well -drink ethanol-, it sounds cheaper.


6 posted on 01/26/2008 7:55:53 AM PST by skipper18 (Fred or Bust)
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To: DeaconBenjamin; quantim; spinestein; 5Madman2; DTogo; Horatio Gates; Ribeye; decal; B Knotts; ...
Pinging the Homebrewers for sympathy and comments.

My Local Home Brew Store (LHBS) has a notice that they will only sell 6 oz of Hops per customer and the price of 50 lbs of Malt has gone up to almost 50 bucks.

No IPAs in my future I'm afraid.

On or off this low volume Ping List let me know.

Cheers,

knewshound

Homebrewing 1A (Homebrewing for beginners)

Homebrewing 101 (for experianced Homebrewers)

7 posted on 01/26/2008 7:57:19 AM PST by knews_hound (I drive a Hybrid. It burns both gas AND rubber.)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

The price change isn’t inflation; it’s supply and demand.

Fewer barley fields -—> higher prices.


8 posted on 01/26/2008 7:57:47 AM PST by Gondring (I'll give up my right to die when hell freezes over my dead body!)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Hops grow like weeds around where I live (outside Seattle). Maybe I should start growing and harvesting them.........


9 posted on 01/26/2008 8:02:09 AM PST by SW6906 (6 things you can't have too much of: sex, money, firewood, horsepower, guns and ammunition.)
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To: rellimpank
-—thank ethanol-—

Why, are they double hopping the ethanol now?

10 posted on 01/26/2008 8:02:09 AM PST by SampleMan
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To: knews_hound
Makes me wonder if there are common household ingredients I could use in lieu of the expensive ingredients.

I tried to brew Kvass a few months back. The main ingredient was bread. It did not turn out too good.

11 posted on 01/26/2008 8:02:25 AM PST by -=SoylentSquirrel=-
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To: SW6906
Hops grow like weeds around where I live (outside Seattle). Maybe I should start growing and harvesting them.........

Let me know if you need a picker. I could use some sleep.

12 posted on 01/26/2008 8:04:22 AM PST by Stentor
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To: DeaconBenjamin
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.

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.

13 posted on 01/26/2008 8:06:40 AM PST by Recovering Hermit ("A liberal feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money.")
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To: DeaconBenjamin
In September, Martin paid $4 for a pound for hops. By late October, he said, it was $50 a pound.

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.

14 posted on 01/26/2008 8:07:07 AM PST by snowsislander
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To: DeaconBenjamin
Brewers blame a variety of culprits.

... High demand for corn-based ethanol has persuaded many farmers to devote more of their fields to corn and less to barley, creating a shortage...

... Rain in Europe and drought in Australia also withered barley crops. ...

It’s been even worse for hops... Flooding has driven down European yields for the last two years just as historically low prices have led many domestic farmers to abandon the crop.

... also slashed the crop in the Pacific Northwest, where the vast majority of domestic hops are grown. ...

15 posted on 01/26/2008 8:07:15 AM PST by sionnsar (trad-anglican.faithweb.com |Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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To: Stentor

?


16 posted on 01/26/2008 8:10:42 AM PST by SW6906 (6 things you can't have too much of: sex, money, firewood, horsepower, guns and ammunition.)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Repel all taxes.


17 posted on 01/26/2008 8:10:44 AM PST by bmwcyle (McCain Sucks!)
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To: bmwcyle

Reach for the hard stuff, parndner. And what state in the Union is the biggest consumer of Brandy?


18 posted on 01/26/2008 8:13:19 AM PST by Thebaddog (Is there a more perfect animal than a dog?)
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To: SampleMan; rellimpank
Why, are they double hopping the ethanol now?

LOL!

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.

19 posted on 01/26/2008 8:14:41 AM PST by Recovering Hermit ("A liberal feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money.")
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To: snowsislander

There were also several kiln fires.


20 posted on 01/26/2008 8:15:19 AM PST by CH3CN
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To: knews_hound

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.


21 posted on 01/26/2008 8:19:00 AM PST by B Knotts (If McCain wins, we lose.)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

$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?


22 posted on 01/26/2008 8:20:25 AM PST by posterchild ("Congress does two things very well: one is nothing and two is overreact." - Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Rising beer prices could leave you tapped out....

congress and jorge should not give tax rebates....they should give beer rebates!!!!!


23 posted on 01/26/2008 8:21:01 AM PST by nyyankeefan
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To: B Knotts

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.....

Cheers,

knewshound


24 posted on 01/26/2008 8:21:32 AM PST by knews_hound (I drive a Hybrid. It burns both gas AND rubber.)
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To: o_zarkman44

Farmers make more money growing corn for ethanol (Federal Subidies) so some quit growing barley and hops.

LLS


25 posted on 01/26/2008 8:26:37 AM PST by LibLieSlayer (Support America, Kill terrorists, Destroy dims and vote for?)
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To: skipper18

Tastes just like 190 proof.


26 posted on 01/26/2008 8:27:35 AM PST by Piquaboy (22 year veteran of the Army, Air Force and Navy, Pray for all our military .)
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To: DeaconBenjamin
I'm not worried. There's no inflation in the US. BLS tells me so.

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.

27 posted on 01/26/2008 8:27:47 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: snowsislander
. . . 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.

Kudos for actually reading the story.

28 posted on 01/26/2008 8:29:33 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: Thebaddog
And what state in the Union is the biggest consumer of Brandy?

Per capita - Wisconsin.

29 posted on 01/26/2008 8:31:02 AM PST by Last Dakotan
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To: snowsislander

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.


30 posted on 01/26/2008 8:31:53 AM PST by o_zarkman44 (No Bull in 08!)
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To: posterchild
Can one easily grow hops in a garden?

Yes, once established they grow like weeds.

31 posted on 01/26/2008 8:33:04 AM PST by Last Dakotan
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Making fuel out of food (well beer) is a stupid idea. That’s what we get when we elect non-conservative Republican’s.


32 posted on 01/26/2008 8:33:57 AM PST by Roux
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Well then, I’m gonna start smuggling hops over the border


33 posted on 01/26/2008 8:38:39 AM PST by Bear_Slayer (When liberty is outlawed only outlaws will have liberty.)
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To: LibLieSlayer

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.


34 posted on 01/26/2008 8:43:21 AM PST by o_zarkman44 (No Bull in 08!)
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To: knews_hound

Have you tried mead?


35 posted on 01/26/2008 8:43:28 AM PST by tbw2 (Science fiction with real science - "Humanity's Edge" - on amazon.com)
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To: tbw2

Honey is expensive too.


36 posted on 01/26/2008 8:45:05 AM PST by Bear_Slayer (When liberty is outlawed only outlaws will have liberty.)
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To: tbw2

I just don’t like Mead.

Go figure....

Cheers,

knewshound


37 posted on 01/26/2008 8:56:16 AM PST by knews_hound (I drive a Hybrid. It burns both gas AND rubber.)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

I think this should be part of the economic stimulus package, cut the price of beer (minorities hardest hit)

Price of a 40??


38 posted on 01/26/2008 8:59:10 AM PST by Rush4U
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To: posterchild

Can one easily grow hops in a garden?

http://www.freshops.com/rhizinfo.html for information, readily available varieties and and ordering.


39 posted on 01/26/2008 9:02:54 AM PST by sbMKE
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To: Recovering Hermit
There still isn’t much money in growing corn. Anyone lucky enough to have a contract for supplying hops isn’t likely to go chasing corn.

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.

40 posted on 01/26/2008 9:13:22 AM PST by SampleMan
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To: o_zarkman44

“....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.


41 posted on 01/26/2008 9:48:16 AM PST by STONEWALLS
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Inflation is getting a bit out of control Mr. Bernanke. I guess I’ll have to buy beer on the dips now.


42 posted on 01/26/2008 9:50:04 AM PST by NoCountryForLiberals
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To: raybbr
Yep. I doubt that barley and hops are included in the CPI. Just too volatile.

Not volatile, effervescent.

On the other hand, what foodstuffs are more basic than bread and beer?

43 posted on 01/26/2008 9:50:05 AM PST by DeaconBenjamin
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To: DeaconBenjamin

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.


44 posted on 01/26/2008 9:51:19 AM PST by NoCountryForLiberals
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To: Gondring
A 12.5 fold increase in price over a period of weeks is not inflation? Silly me, I thought inflation was higher prices.

How do you define inflation?

45 posted on 01/26/2008 9:52:03 AM PST by DeaconBenjamin
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To: nyyankeefan
congress and jorge should not give tax rebates....they should give beer rebates!!!!!

How do you give rebates for rentals?

46 posted on 01/26/2008 9:54:44 AM PST by DeaconBenjamin
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To: DeaconBenjamin

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.


47 posted on 01/26/2008 9:54:57 AM PST by Freedom4US
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To: knews_hound

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.


48 posted on 01/26/2008 9:57:25 AM PST by Farmer Dean (168 grains of instant conflict resolution)
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To: o_zarkman44

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.


49 posted on 01/26/2008 9:59:52 AM PST by Freedom4US
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Inflation is always a monetary phenomenon. Higher prices aren’t necessarily inflation. Supply and demand, etc.


50 posted on 01/26/2008 10:01:03 AM PST by Freedom4US
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