David Kesmodel of The Wall Street Journal reported this morning how the ‘hop shortage’ has create some good business opportunities.
Last fall, South Dakota businessman Steve Polley was scouting for ways to make some extra income when he saw a news headline: The price of hops was surging because of a global shortage.
At the time, Mr. Polley knew little about hops, the flowering plants that give beers their distinct aromas and bitterness. Now, helped by a state agricultural grant, the 67-year-old is preparing for his first hops harvest on a small plot on his neighbor’s land in Spearfish, S.D.
Mr. Polley is among a small but rising number of newcomers to attempt to grow hops on a commercial scale outside the Pacific Northwest, America’s haven for hops. One of the most obscure crops in a long line of agriculture commodities to enjoy a recent price boom, hops are sproutin
g in numerous other locales, from Colorado to Wisconsin to New York. The growers aim to capitalize on hop prices that are as much as sixfold higher than a few years ago, as well as the nation’s boom in small-batch “craft” brewers, like Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing Co. and Odell Brewing Co., which are thirsty for locally grown hops.
“I’m convinced we have a chance to do something to help out the craft brewers” and make some money, says Mr. Polley, who also runs a legal-research firm.
you can read the full article, and I do mean FULL, here.