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As U.S. hops soar in price craft brewers are urged to use home-grown varieties

Added: Monday, May 19th 2014

Ali Capper

British craft brewers could struggle to buy American hops as a result of a sharp rise in price – and they’re being urged to turn to home-grown hops instead. Ali Capper of the British Hop Association(pictured) says the surge in demand for hops in the United States has doubled the price of specialist aroma varieties to $7-$10 per pound over the past five years – the highest since 2007-8 when the market was hit by a severe drought.

Ali Capper told the Publican’s Morning Advertiser that some American aroma hops had become fashionable and many British craft brewers insist on using them. But she warned that the rapid growth of the American craft brewing movement could lead to shortages in a few years’ time.

And she added that any adverse weather conditions in Germany and the U.S. – each responsible for 35% of world hop production – could also have an impact.

“I hope British brewers won’t forget about British hops – we’re still here and we’d love to have your business.”

James Cuthbertson of Dark Brewing Company in Sussex said: “With the rise of craft beer here and in the U.S., the demand for hops is going to outstrip supply so you might see a price rise here. For new breweries coming in to the market, it might be tricky to source hops but from our point of view it’s not a problem as we secure our hops in advance.”

Shepherd Neame of Faversham in Kent says it sources 95% of its hops for ale brewing locally. Head brewer Richard Frost said: “We have been using the same growers for generations. We work on long-term buying agreements through hop merchants and we do not expect to be affected.”

*Source: Publican's Morning Advertiser