My mother informed me that six packs might go up a dollar next year. Although this increase is not an incredibly large amount, for how much some of us consume (or use to), this rise is worth noting.
Beer drinkers in the Northwest became very upset when they heard this news. The northwest is a great beer brewing region. Washingtonians especially love their beer. (Enhanced by the fact that hard liquor is state regulated so its not available at supermarkets.) Washington writers have been intently following the agricultural updates on the upcoming shortage. My mom, a Seattle PI reader, forwarded along this article to me last month. The exerpt below, explains next year's price increase:
"Hops and malt, a form of barley essential to fermentation, are both in short supply nationwide. The shortage is caused by poor crops, high demand, the weak dollar and the increasing popularity of ethanol, which has prompted farmers to plant corn rather than hops or barley."
What does this all mean? Well don't worry, there probably won't be a shortage of beers out next year. With one exception: Harvest Ales.
If you read my Sierra Nevada Harvest Fresh Hop Ale post you may remember that a few breweries make a pale ale at harvest time with a large batch of fresh instead of dried hops. The process requires more fresh hops than would be needed if the brewers used the traditional dried formula.
So, with the possibility of no Harvest Ales on the shelf next year, (it looks like this is only a one year problem) I decided to try Deschutes Brewery: Hop Trip Fresh Hop Ale.
And I'm glad I did. It is delicious!
Although not as hoppy as their traditional pale, Mirror Pond, it has a wonderful soft mouthfeel. One of those beers that I could easily polish off a six pack and not be sick of the brew by the end. Like a trademark harvest ale, you can taste the hop resin sloshing around in the beer as opposed to a bitter kick. Sierra may have written the book on harvest ales, but Deschutes makes a damn tasty one. So, I recommend grabbing the remaining bottles of this fall brew before it's gone. Cheers