18 February 2008

Another brewer adjusts to keep beer on tap

Being a fan of DuClaw's fine creations (and for having a home base in my native Harford County, MD), my email patiently awaits their newest releases. This email today is another example of the hop shortage and what it means to craft brewers:

Loyal DuClaw Patrons,

As you have probably already noticed, our beer prices increased in January. A combination of low grain supplies and a worldwide hop shortage (that has left many varieties of hops completely unavailable) has lead to an industry wide price increase for beer. When grain prices double and hop prices triple, beer prices must follow.

The hops shortage has had other sobering effects (no pun intended) on the brewing industry as a whole and DuClaw specifically. The hops used in the recipe for Venom are simply no longer available. Rather than offer you a pint of something called Venom, that looks similar but tastes nothing like your favorite APA, we’ve decided to pull it from the lineup until the hops are once again available. This wasn’t an easy decision. In fact, we’re angry about it. Angry enough to raise some hell…

COMING SOON: HELLRAZER, our new American-style India Pale Ale. HELLRAZER boasts a light amber color, citrus aroma, smooth hoppy finish, and devilish 6.2% abv. This new IPA will more than fill the void for you hop heads out there during Venom’s absence, but we promise, Venom will return with the hops.

So, to recap: prices are going up, Venom is going away, and we’re going to an old axiom: when life hands you lemons, RAISE HELL!


Their Venom Pale Ale uses Cascade and Columbus hops, which by some estimates are completely unavailable (at least to homebrewers; presumably craft brewers as well).

It's going to be a long year. Fortunately there are a few carrying the torch for us.

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