Increasing Cost of Goods

It is no secret in the brewing world that the cost of malted barley and hops are going up. Some brewers can't even get enough hops to make their beers. Other brewers are OK for now, but can feel the impending pressure for their raw materials.

Barley is going up because of many global market conditions. Partly, it is corn being used for ethanol that is increasing the need for feed grains, which barley can be used for. Partly, it is the weak US dollar making it attractive for foreign brewers to buy American grains. And partly, it is a low crop yield for barley caused by weather problems (perhaps from global climate change).

Hops are having similar weather problems, but more to the point is the upsurge in hops demand these days. For a while there were a lot of extra hops at the end of each season, so the hop growers grew less to maximize their efficiency of operations. But now everyone is really into hops, and the hop growers need to rebuild their crop sizes. This could take a while.

Now more than ever, your local brewery needs your support. All craft beer in general needs your support (everyone knows that Bud Miller Coors use less barley and hops than craft brewers). So if you notice the price of your favorite craft beer going up a bit, it is because the beer is more expensive to make.

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