Craft beer boom to spark US hop shortage?

15th May, 2014 by Lauren Eads

Hop growers are struggling to keep up with demand as the thirst for craft beer continues, prompting fears that supplies of the crucial ingredient could run dry.

The top 10 US craft beersCraft breweries are now opening faster than farmers can grow hops in the US, as reported by vox.com, with the price of hops doubling in the US over the last 10 years to $10 per pound as demand has surged.

Figures from the Brewer’s Association show that in 2013 a total of 2,822 breweries were operating in the US, the country’s highest total since the 1870s.

The US craft beer market now holds an 7% share of the total beer market growing 18% by volume and 20% by value in 2013, with brewers selling an estimated 15.6 million barrels of beer.

Steve Dresler, brewmaster at Sierra Nevada told the Financial Times that craft beer brewers in the US could start to feel the crunch as early as next year.

And while the price of European hops has not risen in the same way as in the US, many UK craft brewers insist of American crops, which will add to problems with supply, Alison Capper of the British Hops Association told the BBC.

Even supply of hops grown in the UK could be tight, if last year’s weather problems are repeated, with Capper adding that the 2014 crop is “pretty much sold out”.

Part of the problem is demand for newly established “aroma” hop varieties as tastes shift away from the bland, but high-yield alpha hops, and the fact that craft brewers use roughly six times more hops than beers produced by large corporate brewers.

Ann George, director of Hop Growers of America, told vox.com that by next year hop acreage will be planted 60/40 in favour of aroma varieties, with the swing previously being 70/30 against aroma varieties.

She said: “It will be tight. There are more brewers in the marketplace, more people want hops and growers can only expand so quickly,” adding that smaller brewers will need to plan ahead to avoid missing out on supply. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

European Brands Sales Manager, Field Sales Managers and Executives

Amathus Drinks PLC
London, Brighton, E Sussex/Kent, Cornwall & Devon, GB

Commercial/Sales Manager

Crush Wines Ltd
Bremhill/Home office, GB

Wine Buyer

Adnams
Southwold, UK

Sales Manager - Scotland

Eurowines Ltd
Scotland

Sales Manager - North-West England

Eurowines Ltd
North-West England, UK

Sales Manager - London

Eurowines Ltd
London, UK

Key Account Manager - Grocery

Australian Vintage Limited
London (Croydon), UK

Key Accounts Manager - Impulse

Australian Vintage Limited
London (Croydon), UK

Business Development Manager

Regency Wines Ltd
North Devon & Somerset, UK

Sales Manager - North East England

Eurowines Ltd
Within 15-20 mile radius of York, UK

National Account Manager

Ehrmanns Wines
London, UK

London Account Manager

The Drinks Club
London, UK

London Sales Executive

Gourvid Limited
London and Greater London, GB

Logistics Administrator

Speciality Drinks Ltd
Park Royal, London, UK

Head of Sales - Hush Heath Estate

Hush Heath Estate
Kent/ London, UK

The Global Merlot Masters 2017

Deadline : 2nd May 2017

db Awards 2017

Deadline : 3rd May 2017

The Global Organic Masters 2017

Deadline : 2nd May 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 12th May 2017

Click to view more

Global Chardonnay Masters 2016

Now in its fourth year, the competition will identify the best Chardonnay from all around the world in every price range.

Rioja Masters 2016

Now in its fifth year, the competition will recognise and reward the finest Riojas on the world stage.

Fortified Masters 2016

Now in its third year, The Fortified Masters will reward the best fortified wines on offer.

The Global Malbec Masters 2016

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2016.

Click to view more