Create an Account
username: password:
  MemeStreams Logo

Rising beer prices hard to swallow


Picture of Stefanie
My Blog
My Profile
My Audience
My Sources
Send Me a Message

sponsored links

Stefanie's topics

support us

Get MemeStreams Stuff!

Rising beer prices hard to swallow
Topic: Society 9:52 am EDT, Apr 24, 2008

A worldwide shortage of hops -- a key ingredient for the pale ales Foye likes so much -- and rising prices for malted barley have pushed up the cost of imbibing a tall cold one. These days, he's paying $9.99 a six-pack, about 40% more than a year ago, for such California-crafted favorites as Union Jack India Pale Ale brewed by Firestone Walker Brewing Co. of Paso Robles and Racer 5 made by Bear Republic Brewing Co. of Cloverdale.

Add beer to the growing list of what many people consider basic foods -- like bread, coffee and pizza -- that are costing more. The cost of groceries has risen at an annual rate of about 5% in each of the last six months, the fastest food inflation since 1990.

Corona and Dos Equis are the only beers that I drink, but I usually keep Mackeson, Murphy's, and/or Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout on hand for my friends. So far, I haven't noticed any significant spike in the local prices of those imported brands.

After water, malted barely is the next-biggest ingredient in beer. It provides the sugars that turns into alcohol when the beer is fermented. Barley prices have risen because of worldwide demand for grains, including wheat, corn and rice. Philip Sutton, owner of Skyscraper Brewing Co., a small brewery in El Monte, said the price of a 50-pound bag of malted barley had jumped to $22, or 57% higher than a year ago.

Hops prices are soaring even more. Sutton paid $3.40 to $4.70 a pound for hops a year ago. The least expensive hops he has found this year were $12.63 a pound, and he's paid all the way up to $22.45. But that's only if he can find them.

"The hops that we like to use just aren't available," Sutton said. That has forced him to substitute other hops in some of his beer recipes "and that makes a different beer. It's still good but isn't what we would ideally have," said Sutton, who has raised his prices 20% to 30%.

Rising beer prices hard to swallow

Powered By Industrial Memetics