Here’s a timely bit of financial news for all of you New Year’s revelers… Due to a shortage of hops and malted barley, beer prices are expected to increase substantially in the near future. According to a recent article in The Independent, hops prices have risen in the United States by as much as 600% in the past three months. A big part of the problem is the push for increased ethanol production in the U.S., which is causing more and more farmers to convert their acreage to corn.
The price spikes are expected to be greatest for smaller, craft breweries because the behemoths of the brewing industry (e.g., Anheuser-Busch and Coors) are locked into long-term supply contracts that provide them with temporary protection against the increased costs. So… While life’s too short to drink cheap beer, it looks like the good stuff is going to cost disproportionately more for the foreseeable future.