Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Upcoming Disaster

$100 a barrel for oil? Go read our pal monkeyfister for a ton of insight and information (and yes, Sweaterman, I'm glad I didn't take the bet). The falling dollar? No, I'm talking about a REAL disaster: The hops shortage:

A worldwide shortage of hops — a key beer-making ingredient — could have a big effect on the taste of specialty brews and force smaller microbreweries to hike the price of their products.The shortage can be blamed on a perfect storm of events — bad weather in hop-growing areas of the United States, Europe and Australia and a depressed U.S. dollar.

Brian Titus, president of Halifax's Garrison Brewing Company, said his brewmaster isn't sure he'll be able to make some of his beers in the new year because he hasn't been able to find some varieties of hops at all.

"It's bordering on disastrous actually. If you don't have hops then you don't have beer," said Titus.

The shortage has some breweries rethinking their brews and possibly changing beer recipes to cut down on the use of hops.

"So maybe you find something that smells similar but doesn't have the same taste profile and it doesn't have the same bitterness," said Titus.

Industry analysts speculate the shortage could force smaller breweries to hike the price of some beers by as much as 10 per cent.

Larger breweries are less likely to have to raise prices because they buy in bulk with long-term contracts.

Craft brewers don't have the means to hedge against rising prices, like their industrial rivals.

This is really hitting home. My local brewery had to make a hops substitution for their latest batch of IPA, and Zymurgian has altered recipes for his 2 latest batches of homebrew. As someone who likes "hoppy" beers, I'm really worried.

Added: Here are some links to the oil/dollar issue:



GOLD $850


whig said...

I understand you can use cannabis in place of hops, though if you home brew in such a way you should be careful and share some with me. :)

pygalgia said...

I've had several homebrews that used cannabis as a substitute for hops, and while they had interesting flavors, they just weren't the same. Different hops impart very different flavors to beers, and each change in hops can have a noticable impact.

SweaterMan said...

Actually, Tapis crude hit 100.58 earlier (last nite our time I believe), but has since fallen. Still slightly above 100 as of 2100 GMT for today though..

WTI and Brent are only up around 98+, but it looks as if folks are making a minor? major? who knows? run on the dollar, so that's going to factor in to the price change too.

Not that $100 oil will cause most folks to blink; it's the pump price (skyrocketing by about an average of 30 cents nationwide in the last 36 hours) that'll tag people.

Still, demand destruction was accomplished for me at $2.25 - but for most Americans, I think $6-$7 is what it'll take to do the trick.

Demeur said...

You forgot the Jack Danials water problem. Once the water's gone so is the Jack.
I used to like German beers but they really don't sell them here, but then when I drank beer was before the microbrewerys came into existance.

--mf said...

Time to grow our own!
Put your order in at these places... I'm sure there are plenty of others. I know that these folks are OK with their bizniz practices.

I'm going to grow/use my Hops plants as shade trellises above my garden beds.


--mf said...

As to Oil. I've been tellin' ya's that all manner of mind-boggling stuff is about to about to hit the fan. I was imagining mid-Spring, by then, I'd have plenty of food growing in all of my beds.

I'm pretty surprised at the sudden acceleration of the whole trainwreck. It's been in such s l o w - m o t i o n that it caught me by surprise. But, it looks like someone dropped a brick on the gas pedal of the Collapsemobile. I'm not quite ready.

It's time to worry.


Distributorcap said...

maybe they can make beer out of Saudi Arabian light..

Suzy said...

I hear you. My drug of choice -- good English black tea, imported from Yorkshire -- is seemingly unavailable because of the falling dollar. I know in the grand scheme of things it is a minor problem, but I miss it.

Jess Wundrun said...

You know they say it takes a lot of beer to make good wine. This could be bad all around.

gandhisxmas said...

A run on the dollar is already happening. it will probably get worse. Bernanke went public to Congress that the housing slowdown coupled with 100s of billions of dollars of non-performing securitized debt is strangling the intl financial system. To top that, China went public saying it would diversity from USDs. AND EVEN WORSE, the top supermodel will no longer accept payments in USDs, Now we know we are in trouble.


Ed said...

I love a good IPA. This is bad news.