Craft Beer Boom Causing Hops Shortage - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Craft Beer Boom Causing Hops Shortage

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For many Americans, summer relaxation includes enjoying a cold one, and craft brews are hotter than ever, now a $14 billion dollar industry.

The problem? Craft beers like IPA's use 4 to 10 times more hops than the average lager.

That's making prices soar and causing established beer masters and craft breweries alike to scramble for limited supplies needed for those signature brews.

Jeff Edgerton is brew master for Bridgeport Brewing Company, the oldest brewer in Oregon.  He says with the hops shortage pricing is getting crazy, with some breweries contracted out five years ahead.

But the bad news for brewers is great news for people like Blake Crosby a fifth generation hops grower in Oregon.  As prices for hops have doubled, he's doubled his acreage.

Crosby is also spending millions to expand into things like making a machine which dries and compresses hops into pellets.

Crosby's cousin Ben Smith says if he could grow more hops, he would.

But with so many brewers making ever hoppier beers, and so many farmers rushing to add supplies, there could end up being a craft beer hangover a hops bubble that eventually pops. 

Smith says hops growers have oversupplied the market in the past but they hope to lock in some good prices while they can.

Stability that hops farmers can all drink to... for now.  

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