Monday, 7 April 2008

Hop Sharing in Boston

Most of us in the beer game know that there is a hop shortage. Many beers may either not be brewed to their original recipe, or indeed may not be brewed at all. Fingers are crossed that the 2008 hop harvest will be a good one.

I was therefore very heartened indeed to see that Boston Brewing Company (of Sam Adams fame) is to share some of its hop cache with fellow craft brewers. 10,000 pounds each of German Tettnang and of East Kent Goldings will be made available to fellow craft brewers who have a shortage. Amazingly these will be sold at "cost". Boston Beer Company will make nothing from the deal and in addition will rely on the honesty of those applying actually needing the hops, rather than just buying them cheaply to sell on. As the web site says, "Order them because you need these hops to make your beer. We’re not asking questions, so let your conscience be your guide." In a Q&A spot on their web site they add:

Q. What will prevent the brewers who buy these hops from reselling them at a much higher price? A. Nothing other than doing what is right. We believe craft brewers will help one another. We’ve asked brewers to order only what they need and to let their consciences be their guide.

Needless to say this offer was oversubscribed and a draw was held to determine the "winners". 61 breweries will now get Tettnang and 46 will get EKGs which gives you an idea of how bad the shortage is. I'll leave it there. In these cynical times this really is a good news story!


Matt said...

One of the hop lotto winner was Worth Brewing - possibly the smallest brewpub in the States. He brews batches are 10 US gals.

Bailey said...

That is heartwarming. I'm a big fan of the idea of the honesty box -- of trusting people, generally.

Jeff Frane said...

My opinion of Jim Koch just went up. A lot.

Anonymous said...

A friend is starting a brewery here in my town, but was turned down for this opportunity because the brewery isn't yet actively brewing for sale (though I've tasted some of the test batches). That put me off a bit but I guess they have to draw the line somewhere.