On Tap: Skyrocketing Hops Prices

Published 05/14 2014 11:51PM

Updated 05/14 2014 11:58PM

Breweries across the commonwealth are raising a glass to Craft Beer week,  a celebration that recognizes the booming brewery industry.
Some... Like Bullfrog Brewery in Williamsport offer new beer selections for the 11 day event...
But one thing is putting a damper on the celebrations, the skyrocketing price of hops, a key ingredient in beer, especially one of the fan favorites.
The most popular beer here at the Bullfrog Brewery is their IPA which also incidentally has the most hops.
Brewmaster Nate Saar told Eyewitness News“We use probably as 4 or 5 times as many hops in IPA as any other beer
The craft beer industry has been growing rapidly over last few years. Nearly 3,000 breweries are expected to exist in the U-S by the end of 20-14. up 15-percent from last year.
Now hop growers are barely producing enough to meet the demand which means in some cases, hop prices are doubling.
And once family owned breweries -- like the Bullfrog -- run out of their hop supply... They will have to start raising prices.
“We don’t know exactly how much demand we'll have so putting certain amount of hops on hop contract is just our best guess” said Steve Koch owner of the Bullfrog  
“If hops prices go up and stay up, it's definitely going to impact craft brew industry for sure”  added  Brewmaster Nate Saar.
This isn't the first time there's been a hop shortage...
The Bullfrog Brewery had to raise their prices by a dollar several years ago...
Hops prices may continue increasing next year, when large beer companies start replenishing their hop supplies.

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