Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The future of craft beer pricing

Here's some recent interesting material from Weyerbacher's website that further details the situation Lew described last week at his site. Will certainly be interesting to see how this plays out over the coming months and years and to what degree it shapes the craft beer marketplace. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Malt & Hops Prices Facing Unfathomable Increases (9/20/07) We knew hops prices were going up 20 to 30 % already, but just found out this week that Malt prices will be going up anywhere from 40 to 90% in the next few weeks as the new crop is released. The situation is so bad that many farmers selling to Weyermann malt house in Germany are refusing to deliver barley at the price agreed upon and want to renegotiate. Most of the malt we use at Weyerbacher comes from Munton's in England and also from Weyermann. Munton's won't even commit to the new price yet, but the importer we buy through said it will be at least 40%. What this means is that, coupled with cardboard going up 6% next month and bottles going up 8% in November is that you the consumer, could be looking at price increases of anywhere from perhaps $1.00 to $3.00 a case, or more on some of the higher alcohol brews. None of this is absolute yet, but the word from all directions is that they have no choice. Too many farmers have switched to growing corn because its use in ethanol production has tightened the supply and raised the prices considerably. Unfortunately using corn to produce ethanol is not very efficient as compared with other sources, sugar for example. But the situation is what it is and many farmers are now growing corn as it is easier and more profitable than barley or wheat. All breweries are going to have to deal with significant price increases over the next several months perhaps as late as January or as early as November. We simply ask for your understanding in this matter, we will only increase what we absolutely have to, but we're not going to be any happier about it than you will. Just wanted to give everyone a head's up on this and I'm sure you'll be hearing about it from many other sources over the next few weeks. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Unknown said...

dark day 4 hopheads...including me...http://lewbryson.blogspot.com/2007/09/problems-with-hops-crop-latest-word.html

Bryan Kolesar said...

makes me all the happier for our bountiful backyard Cascade harvest last weekend!

Better plant some more rhizomes

thanks for the link Rebecca!