Last week we harvested our first hops from our vines, and were quite pleased with the yield. I was thinking we?d get 1-2 lbs of hops based on the amount we pulled off. But after a few days of drying, the final weight was just about 8 oz. But my dreams of hop farming were not yet dashed, until our friend West sent us, as he often does, his latest beer related article find.
The Wall Street Journal last week ran an article about a surge in the number of people interested in starting hop farms. Why? Because ?for years, a world-wide glut of hops resulted in prices that were too low for U.S. growers to turn a profit.? So now everybody and their mother (Joel?s mother included) is gunning to start a hop farm. Prices for hops have gone up 4-6 times in the past few years, and last year?s price increases resulted in a total value of $169 million, up from $118 million the year before.
Sounds good, right? So why not go be a hop farmer? The general consensus is that hop prices will come down substantially over the coming 12-36 months, just about the amount of time it would take to get a legit hop farm up and running. And with some serious capital costs in equipment and land, I?ll pass and stick to brewing beer…
…which we’ll be doing tonight. The IPA has been flying out of the fridge fast and furious, so we’ll be brewing it again this evening. We’ve got the Wit and a new variation of Drafty Kilt on draft, so drop us a line if you need directions.