Featured Post

AmeriKKKa continues her inevitable (Yep.) slide into Third World madness.

Behold the fleas with which that mangy orange cur has infested conservatism! SUCKERS! Neo-Nazis battling commies in the streets? Welcome...

"Let no freedom be allowed to novelty, because it is not fitting that any addition should be made to antiquity. Let not the clear faith and belief of our forefathers be fouled by any muddy admixture." -- Pope Sixtus III

Monday, November 05, 2007

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This time the Heat Nazis have gone too far. They are now screwing with the beer.

The News Journal: Cost of beer heading up in 2008

Now's the time to raise your mug and savor the taste of your favorite local brew -- because you may be paying more for that pint next year.

A tight global market for the raw ingredients of beer is raising predictions of higher prices and complicating business for Delaware's popular craft brewers, a segment of the state's economy that had been enjoying a string of upbeat years.

Blame it all on drought, hailstorms, heat and inflation, just a few of the unpleasant influences that have beset the brewing industry in recent times.

Fuel, aluminum and glass prices have been rising quickly in recent years. Barley and wheat prices have skyrocketed as more farmers plant corn to meet increasing demand for ethanol, while others plant feed crops to replace acres lost to corn.

Eek!

A decade-long oversupply of hops that had forced farmers to abandon the crop has expired and harvests were down this year. In the United States, where one-fourth of the world's hops are grown, acreage fell 30 percent between 1995 and 2006.

As if that weren't enough -- Australia endured its worst drought on record; hail storms across Europe damaged crops; and extreme heat in the western United States hurt yields and quality.

For local brewers, hops and barley costs have posted unprecedented spikes. "They took an astronomical jump this year," said Mark Edelson, co-owner and director of brewing operations for the Iron Hill brew-pub chain." In the 10 years I've been in the business, I've never seen this. ... This is historic for us."

Craft breweries, which produce relatively small batches of artisanal brews for a beer-savvy customer base, face an especially thorny patch ahead, partly because they use so much more hops per barrel, and partly because they lack big brewers' capacity to hedge against price increases.

"For a microbrewery operating on the tightest of margins ... it might be crippling," said Al Stewart, owner of the Stewart's Brewing Co. brew pub in Bear.

So far, price increases for customers have been modest -- less than a dollar a 12-pack at retail, said Harry Schuhmacher, editor of the online trade publication Beer Business Daily. Some industry followers expect the price of beer to increase by at least 10 percent before the end of the year.

"Brewers are trying to take pricing up, but it's hard when beer is pretty sensitive to pricing per volume. And when drinkers are leaving beer to go to wine and spirits," he said.

On the other hand, smaller brewers have more pricing power than the big guys do.

"They're able to increase pricing more without losing drinkers," he said.

Some of Delaware's beer producers say the situation is mitigated somewhat by contracts that lock supply and price in place for the time being. But by the first of the year, increasing reliance on higher-priced supplies could mean higher prices for consumers, Edelson said.

Delaware's most prominent locally owned brewery, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, is particularly well-known across the country for its "hoppy" beers, but faces its biggest cost pressures from barley. "We've decided not to pass along 100 percent of our price increase to our customers," said Dogfish owner Sam Calagione.

No comments:

About Me

My photo
First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.

Labels

Blog Archive