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!
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink.
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