The new crops of hops and malt have begun to arrive in the brewery, which bring both good and bad news for all of us. On the positive side, the quality of the new season’s hops is incredible. They are exceptionally fragrant and a joy to brew with (and drink). On the down side, global warming has played havoc with most crops, and hops were badly hit. There is a 30% global shortage forecast, with some varieties being completely unavailable. Consequently, prices literally tripled over night. Malt didn’t fare much better, and prices have risen by 30%. I’ve read predictions of the £4 pint in 2008 from people across the industry. We haven’t fully analysed the price rises on our business yet and will hold our prices as long as we can. However, while other breweries are reducing their hop usage to save money we commit to brewing our beers as we always will – full of flavour and full of hops. We will not cut corners or alter our recipes to save money, so you can continue to enjoy our award-winning beers as you have come to love them.
That has translated to rising prices, lack of availability, and a number of breweries (not us) cutting back on their hop usage. If you’re a fan of our more heavily hopped beers – particularly Revival, Confidence, and JJJ IPA, you’ll be pleased to know that we just purchased enough supplies of those critical hops to last us through the year. Let’s all hope that this year’s crop is better. It was a major expense for us, and a storage nightmare, but at least we can continue to bring you our signature beers unaltered. Please continue to drink and enjoy them.