The recent upward surge in commodities prices has left no corner of the globe untouched. That includes the bastions of the beer drinkers.
Changes in global climate, a decline in hops growers and a recent fire in a hops storage facility have worked in concert to reduce the world supply of that most important of beer brewing ingredients. According to a story published by Wired, these events have breweries both large and small adjusting their beer making processes and ingredients in an effort to curb rising brewing costs. The Wired story quotes brew master Donald Gortemiller as saying, "When hops were $2 a pound, compared to $20 or $30 a pound now, it didn't matter. We'd throw them into the boil at various times. That was an inaccurate way of doing things. We're modifying recipes and using about 20 percent less hops."
Walletpop blogger extraordinaire, Bruce Watson recently brought to light the mounting concern over hops deficiencies in the brewisphere. He wrote: "I imagine that the hot nights of a post-global warming future will be particularly unbearable without the benefit of a nice cold one." Bruce has vowed to do everything he can to "Save the Ales." For my part, I have chosen an alternate strategy to Bruce's proactive beer saving efforts. I have surrendered my boarding pass to what was for me; "The one way aluminum train to Stupidville."
Believe me when I say that my self imposed abstinence from beer will leave plenty of the cold foamy beverages for the rest of you to share and enjoy. Let's just hope that the remaining hops growers are the people who are benefiting from these unfortunate beer ingredient price increases.
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