Category Archives: Lists

13 things every brewer should know about buying hops

Don’t buy more hops than you know you need.
Renegotiating contracts is usually possible. In a successful renegotiation, both sides will compromise. Nobody ever gets 100% what they want.
Weather determines the price of a variety on the spot hop market. Weather can create shortages or surpluses of supply of every variety in any given year.
Buying on […]

Anatomy of the current surplus-shortage-surplus cycle

The anatomy of the current surplus-shortage-surplus cycle is not entirely unique. There are many similarities between this and cycles of the past. 
 

A massive oversupply occurs in response to over contracting. Spot hop prices plummet. Once it is clear a stable exists, brewers try to renegotiate expensive contracts into less expensive longer-term contracts.
Contracted demand decreases rapidly. New contract […]

Hop Farming: 6 things to consider when starting a hop farm today

1) You’re a little late to the party. Had you planned your new hop farm a few years ago, you might have had it paid for by now and you’d be enjoying this article from a different perspective. Today, there’s no need for new hop farms, or even new acreage. Anybody planting hops commercially today […]

17 Predictions for 2017

The American craft beer industry will continue to grow, but at a slower rate. (Yes, I decided to start with the most obvious one first. The juicier ones are down below.
An increased rate of brewery closures in the U.S.
The alpha hop market will remain extremely tight and on the verge of shortage meaning that prices […]

The Seven C’s: How to Navigate Hop Contract Renegotiations

The last year has seen a slow down at the top end of the craft beer industry resulting in the need to renegotiate many contracts. Thankfully, in most cases it is possible to resell the hops in question. The process of renegotiating a hop contract is a bit tricky, but there are some simple things […]

5 Things that can Destroy the Hop Industry

You would think times are good in the hop industry with prices at their current level. Hop growers are rock stars. People buy beers with the names of hop varieties on the label just because they love that variety. Being involved in any way in the hop industry makes you instantly the person with the […]

5 Reasons Why The Next Hop Crisis is Coming & How to Avoid it: Part 2

In our last blog, we presented 5 reasons why we are headed for a hop crisis. Today, let’s explore the solution.
Bank support is dwindling. A grower friend of mine is having trouble getting financing from his bank as we speak! He has hop contracts for almost everything he plans to grow … still problems. The […]

5 Reasons Why The Next Hop Crisis is Coming & How to Avoid it: Part 1

Last weekend, while at dinner with some hop friends, an interesting scenario came up during conversation. Granted, it’s partly hypothetical at this point, but the possibility should concern every brewer in the world.
WHAT IF?
The question was this … “What if, due to the risk involved with expanding quickly, growers and merchants let their own appetite […]