A Nationwide Hops Shortage Spells Trouble for the US Beer Industry

The state of Washington, where most of the industry’s hops are grown, is currently experiencing severe drought
Staff Writer


Your favorite IPA may be in serious trouble.

You may want to learn how to brew your own beer, because the price of hoppy brews is about to skyrocket. According to NBC, a severe drought and unseasonably hot weather in the state of Washington, where almost three-quarters of hops acreage is located, is causing a hops shortage across the nation.

As hops (the buds used to flavor beer, used in high quantities in draughts like IPAs) disappear, the price of beer will go up considerably.

"Next year you won't have more land for hops," Michael Butler, chairman and CEO of Seattle-based Cascadia Capital, told NBC News. "You have a shortage of water. You're going to have more demand from the craft breweries, and so you kind of pass the inflection point where the demand is greater for hops than the supply."

This means, Butler said, that the consumer will pay a higher price for hoppy beer starting in 2016. The area where most of the hops shortage will take place is known as the Yakima Basin, and is under severe water restriction as part of the ongoing droughts on the West Coast. In the face of such severe drought, farmers have had to cut back on their hops production almost entirely in order to save water for other more essential crops.

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