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Thread: Is the hop shortage over?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013

    Is the hop shortage over?

    Several years ago it seems that many of us was here asking to buy hops now, it appears many of us are on here trying to sell hops. So my question for discussion is do you think that the shortage is over? there are many ads of breweries trying to sell there excess hops even some of the big names ie citra seem to be plentiful and in large quantities. Do you think breweries horded them and tried to sell them at a increased price? I mean sales for many of us are up so why are there so many ads.
    Mike Eme
    Cheboygan Brewery
    Cheboygan Michigan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Portland, OR, United States
    You should check out the blog on Really useful info there on where the hop market is at.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Livermore, CA
    The change in the market is largely due to breweries being over contracted on their hops and are now getting rid of them. The problem with this is that the farmers will see this and realize they can not produce as much because it won't sell. We created a bubble, hopefully it stays flat and the growers keep enough acreage so we don't see a shortage in the next few years after they have converted to other crops. Many of the growers up in the Yakima area also grow apples and cherries, they will not hesitate to rip out a hop field if the crop doesn't pay as good as something else. Good news is, the laws of supply and demand say that the hop prices should fall because of this.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    the short answer to the question is yes, the hop shortage is over……it really has been since 2015; unfortunately, we now find ourselves in a very much oversupplied situation in just about every variety; the reasons are many, and too complex to litigate here, but, the hop industry has some very unique supply and demand factors associated with it that naturally drive these cycles; they always happen; there will be a lot of finger pointing and blame, but, these cycles are fundamentally driven by the underlying economic factors associated with hop market. yes, there are a few varieties that might still be in shortages, but, those will quickly fill because now every hop grower/merchant will nose into those varieties with the speed of lightning to fill the demand; growers in Yakima can produce almost a full crop in the first year; any excess demand in any variety will quickly be filled from the 2017 crop. While the above poster is correct that Yakima Valley growers have other high value ag options to switch to, the problem is most have made massive investments in infrastructure and will fight tooth and nail price wise to keep every acre of production in to justify that new investment in facilities.

    for a brewer, especially a smaller one, the best course of action is to stay contracted through all these periods; but, focus on your needs, how they are changing, and contract conservatively, and deal with your surplus' and shortages in any varieties quickly; I would be leary of using these secondary markets to source a large % of your hops especially out in the future, but, they are useful for filling in the gaps, etc. And, the above poster is correct, you should see moderation in pricing on your end from here on out; so, all positives for the brewer; a little heartburn, and more then a few hard landings for some in the hop industry, but the hop industry will survive as it always has.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Louisville, KY
    Great post Hopguy, Echos everything I feel about the hop industry. The hop market is never static, we are now coming into a market that will be over saturated very soon. Great for brewers, as hops will be plentiful and cheap. Not good for the farmers, they will eventually start plowing over hops in favor of another crop, and the cycle continues.
    Joel Halbleib
    COO / Zymurgist
    Goodwood Brewing Co
    636 East Main St
    Louisville, KY

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