Tears in My Beer

Beer-drinkers already pay from $7 to $9 for a sixer of a decent IPA or witbier from a reputable craft brewer, and that’s on a good day. Now, the Wall Street Journal reports that—the horror, the horror—commodities prices for hops and barley have risen so much (some hops varietals are up by 100 percent) that a price increase of up to $1 per six-pack is in the cards for craft brews. At least the ones that survive the big price hikes.

Craft brewers are naturally worried, as are microbrew fanciers, who saw it coming. I hope this doesn’t put a damper on this month’s Fresh Hop “Tastivals.”

But why aren’t we seeing related stories about Budweiser, Miller, and Coors price hikes? Maybe it’s because, according to the Journal article:

They use much less hops and barley in most of their beers, which is why they are lighter in taste and calories. A barrel of craft brew Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, for example, has about twice the malt and as many as five times the hops of a mass-market brew, like Budweiser or Miller High Life.

Maybe you should invest in a good cellar and learn to appreciate aged beer.

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