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 Be a better, beer drinker

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Scorereader

  • Total Posts: 5546
  • Joined: 8/4/2005
  • Location: Crofton, MD
Be a better, beer drinker Fri, 04/11/08 7:00 PM (permalink)


I think the microbrew craze is well known now. But it wasn't always. One of my hometown's best kept secrets for craft beer shopping was the mom and pop shop called Galeville Grocery.


(A little known fact, is that if you want the best pool supplies in that area, you should go to the same store)

I've long touted the Galeville Grocery for stocking the best selection of craft beers, if not the largest. The Syracuse.com website has blown my secret out into the open. The advice they give, is spot on.


Good drinkin'!

http://www.syracuse.com/entertainment/index.ssf?/base/entertainment-1/1207904240107240.xml&coll=1
 
#1
    Greyghost

    • Total Posts: 1336
    • Joined: 8/19/2004
    • Location: Albany, NY
    RE: Be a better, beer drinker Fri, 04/11/08 7:34 PM (permalink)
    I wonder how many craft beers will go under simply because of the world wide hops shortage.

    It is a huge problem among craft brewers in my area and they are somewhat panicked. And let's not forget about the increasing grain prices. I really wonder how many craft brews can survive in our current environment. What are your thoughts?
     
    #2
      Scorereader

      • Total Posts: 5546
      • Joined: 8/4/2005
      • Location: Crofton, MD
      RE: Be a better, beer drinker Fri, 04/11/08 8:32 PM (permalink)
      tough to say, greyghost. I saw one report that said that it could raise prices 10% for the smaller companies (plus we know we need to add on the higher shipping costs too!), and it could affect the taste of the beer as recipes could change. One the one hand, the price hike might affect the casual microbrew drinker, but I would think most microbrew drinkers would continue to patronage the breweries because they refuse to drink bud and ilk.
      I would think, more than the price hike, the change of recipes would cause the biggest ill-effect. You don't want to mess with my hoppy IPA if you want me to keep drinking it.

      One cause of the shortage was farmers not planting hops because at one point, there was an over-production. Perhaps smaller breweries could bond together, like creating a co-op situation, to increase their purchasing power to get those farmers to replant/regrow hops for long term contracts. Of course, even that is a tough sell to farmers whom have been lured by corn-based ethanol production.

      Some companies, like Dominion Ale, in Virginia, have already been sold to Anheuser-Busch - or, at least their distribution is handled by them; I would think those breweries would benefit from the tie-in, since Anheuser-Busch is not likely to feel the effect as much, since they buy in such large quantities in huge long term contracts. But, Dominion Ale, isn't much of a craft brew anymore - it's grown so much.

      And, Boston Ale company, who sold a bunch of hops at cost to smaller companies, can't bail out everyone.

      It's a great question. I heard some people discussing it over Christmas. The first thought I had was, "Wasn't there an over-production of hops not too long ago that helped to fuel the growth of craft beers and the explosion of microbreweries?" Sadly, that's no longer the case. Well..."sadly" for the beer drinkers.
       
      #3
        Davydd

        • Total Posts: 6227
        • Joined: 4/24/2005
        • Location: Tonka Bay, MN
        RE: Be a better, beer drinker Fri, 04/11/08 9:37 PM (permalink)
        I haven't heard any rumblings about craft and micro brewers going under but it does happen all the time and I would not be surprised with this added strain. I do know the price of beer has jumped dramatically already this year. Prices seem to have gone up around 15%. That is a lot in a short period. I had recently rechecked packaged home brew kits as well thinking that maybe I should give it a try this Spring. What I found is that the brew kits have skyrocketed I think to the point that I have serious doubts I could save money home brewing like I used to.
         
        #4
          Greyghost

          • Total Posts: 1336
          • Joined: 8/19/2004
          • Location: Albany, NY
          RE: Be a better, beer drinker Fri, 04/11/08 9:40 PM (permalink)
          Scorereader,

          Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I do think you are a bit optimistic though. If we were in a booming economy, I do think the craft brew drinkers would take most price increases in stride.
          In the current economy, I think many will backslide into the swill. This does not auger well for the craft brewers.

          I don't see any upside to the hops shortage. It is my understanding that one cannot simply decide to grow hops in one season and have a marketable crop an the end of the season. To the best of my knowledge marketable hops take a few years to develop. Sort of like ginseng in that way.

          The area I live in, Upstate NY used to be the center for the best hops in the world about a hundred years ago. They are not grown here anymore as other crops are more profitable and less problematic.

          You might be interested in a monthly one hour radio show featuring local craft brewers we have here. I don't know the exact schedule, but they are on the WAMC Vox Pop program for an hour every month. The program airs at 2 PM weekdays and can be accessed on the web. I am sure you can get the exact dates by emailing the station at wamc.org. They always respond to their email.
           
          #5
            tiki

            • Total Posts: 4135
            • Joined: 7/7/2003
            • Location: Rentiesville, OK
            RE: Be a better, beer drinker Sat, 04/12/08 12:50 AM (permalink)
            quote:
            Originally posted by Greyghost

            I wonder how many craft beers will go under simply because of the world wide hops shortage.

            It is a huge problem among craft brewers in my area and they are somewhat panicked. And let's not forget about the increasing grain prices. I really wonder how many craft brews can survive in our current environment. What are your thoughts?


            I once lived in Chico Ca---in the same neighborhood as Sierra Nevada Brewers--they have LOTS of land around a beautiful brewery with a state of the arts stage and sound system/great food............and..........my son tells me they planted their own hops in land behind the brewery!
             
            #6
              the ancient mariner

              • Total Posts: 3987
              • Joined: 4/6/2004
              • Location: st petersburg, florida
              RE: Be a better, beer drinker Sat, 04/12/08 8:00 AM (permalink)
              I wonder how many of these brewerys stay in bsiness. From your picture
              Scorereader it is evident that there are many brands on the market. How
              can you mak a decision which is better than which ????

              Hops are scarce, transportation costs are soring, people are broke,
              Budweiser is advertising like mad --- how do all these little people
              stay alive ??????
               
              #7
                Davydd

                • Total Posts: 6227
                • Joined: 4/24/2005
                • Location: Tonka Bay, MN
                RE: Be a better, beer drinker Sat, 04/12/08 9:11 AM (permalink)
                quote:
                Originally posted by the ancient mariner

                I wonder how many of these brewerys stay in bsiness. From your picture
                Scorereader it is evident that there are many brands on the market. How
                can you mak a decision which is better than which ????

                Hops are scarce, transportation costs are soring, people are broke,
                Budweiser is advertising like mad --- how do all these little people
                stay alive ??????

                Easy. Better beer.
                 
                #8
                  Scorereader

                  • Total Posts: 5546
                  • Joined: 8/4/2005
                  • Location: Crofton, MD
                  RE: Be a better, beer drinker Sat, 04/12/08 12:54 PM (permalink)
                  Greyghost,
                  thanks fot the info on the program. I'll definately listen in online (gotta love webcasts!).



                   
                  #9
                    Greyghost

                    • Total Posts: 1336
                    • Joined: 8/19/2004
                    • Location: Albany, NY
                    RE: Be a better, beer drinker Sat, 04/12/08 4:15 PM (permalink)
                    Scorereader,

                    Depending on your location, you might be able to get the station directly over the air. The coverage area is vast. They don't call it Northeast Public Radio for nothing. Here is a link to a map of the area they cover;

                    http://www.wamc.org/coveragemap.html

                     
                    #10
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