This situation is brought on by drought, which looks to be an effect of global warming. I would argue that this might be the first time "Joe Sixpack" has global warming show up at home.
Also, consolidation is at play here. Ranier is not made in the shadow of the mountain anymore, and Olympia is no longer made in its namesake either. We ship the stuff all over the country due to the economy of scale coupled with big breweries taking over. I'm sure this only compounds the issues at hand.
Beer will be the last thing I cut out of my budget.
I agree with Chad. Beer is the last thing I will cut out of my budget as well. My favorite beers have a very hoppy flavor. I'll be willing to pay the price, perhaps I will simply reduce my consumption. or not.
I deal with the hops shortage by growing my own on my front porch in Southeast Portland. Growing my own is part of the appeal of home brewing. I grow Chinook hops and Willamette hops, partly for their flavor and partly for their local names. My pale ale, using Chinook hops, is called Wild Chinook Pale Ale. I occassionally brew an ale that uses half barley malt and half wheat (half-e-weizen?) and I use my Willamette hops in that. I call it Spring Chinook Half-e-weizen. Someday I will catch a spring chinook in the Willamette, this year for sure.
I have had big harvests of the Chinook hops with less success with the Willamette. The last three years I have had major problems with aphids. Sometimes the ladybugs win out. Sometimes not. Two years ago there were no ladybugs available in any of the garden stores, anywhere. In a good year I can harvest enough hops to carry over several years, since I don't really brew a lot.
It is a privilege to live in Beervana.
Hi, I'm a home brewer and it was my understanding the the hop growers union was a closed system and it was very difficult for new farmer to get in the act. Is this still true and how has this affected the current hop situation?
Hello from the Yakima Valley where about 75% of US hops are produced. Thank you for an informative show this morning BUT I must point out that the HOP plant is not a GRAIN.
The agronomic definition of grain is:
1. a small, hard seed, esp. the seed of a food plant such as wheat, corn, rye, oats, rice, or millet.
2. the gathered seed of food plants, esp. of cereal (grass) plants.
3. such plants collectively.
1. any twining plant of the genus Humulus, bearing male flowers in loose clusters and female flowers in conelike forms.
2. hops, the dried ripe cones of the female flowers of this plant, used in brewing, medicine, etc.
If you would like to learn more about hops go to:
The American Hop Museum in Toppenish, WA http://www.americanhopmuseum.org/
Hop Growers of America http://www.usahops.org
and remember: It takes a lot of Beer to make great Wine!
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