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Local Craft Brews Competing for Hops - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Local Craft Brews Competing for Hops

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The craze spread through the country like a weed, but now it's hung up on the slow growth of another kind of flower. Our favorite beers may be taking a hit because of it. Craft breweries everywhere are feeling the pains of a hops shortage this year.

"I just like coming here because it seems like a bunch of guys who have this great concept for a business, they do a great job and it's just like out of the side of a brick building. That's so cool!" Juneed Gregory, a customer of the Fargo Brewing Company, said.

When your business model is based on the flavor of the month, it's no wonder why breweries like these are bubbling up everywhere.

"We've been incredibly busy," Chris Anderson, President and BreBrew master Fargo Brewing Company, said. "We just added some tanks here about a month and a half ago, doubled our capacity as a brewery."

But with growth comes growing pains, which they say, were inevitable.

Craft breweries now makeup about 8-percent of the nation's beer production. The trend creates a problem for hops farmers, because craft beers tend to use more of the flavorful, aromatic varietals. Farmers are now having a hard time keeping up with the demand and brew masters are competing for the product.

"I guess I'm just willing to pay a little bit more," Juneen said. "Today, one of the growlers I bought was a little bit more, but it tastes really good."

Employees of Fargo Brewing say, for the most part, their beers won't be affected. They expected this shortage to hit, and so, create more beers with varietals of hops that are more easily accessible.

"I would say that in the next couple of years, you're going to start seeing fewer and fewer big hoppy pale ales just because hops are going to be harder to find and brewers are going to have to be more experimental in what they do," Anderson said.
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