Might be time to stock up on beer.
The worsening drought could result in shortages of some popular varieties of hops used in beer. The Washington Hop Commission told NBC News that some fields will see a little lower yield this year due to heat and water stress, but they won’t know until harvest.
San Tan Brewing Company has a contract for Washington hops this year and is waiting to see what the crop yields are.
“We’re crossing our fingers that this year’s drought does not detrimentally affect our 2016 brew year,” said Head Brewer Gabe Wilson. “Many of our brands are relatively dependent upon hops grown in the Pacific Northwest.”
San Tan Brewing opened in Arizona in 2007 and features a pub in downtown Chandler. Just last year, the company expanded its sales into the southwest. It’s currently sold in Arizona, California and Texas.
According to NBC News, each hops plant requires up to 3 gallons of water per day and farmers are dealing with water restrictions. It also reports that growers usually start harvesting aroma varieties the last week of August and pick the top varieties in late September and early October. Even though the current crop is locked up by contracts, some analysts told the news website the drought will boost prices for anything on the spot market.
Wilson said if the crop is bad enough, it will broaden its diversification of hops sources to minimize any future problems.
“Or we may just push some of our other brands that are heavy in hops from Australia and New Zealand,” said Wilson.
There will be some stressed out people here pretty soon!!!