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Future of Homebrewing

Thursday, February 07, 2008

These are the last few paragraphs from an article from Brew Your Own magazine that touches on the the upcoming hop crisis. Really makes you think about the short term future of homebrewing.

Some folks have opined that the decrease in hop varieties will cause some homebrewers to take a break for a few years or quit altogether. Others say that, as the price of commercial beers go up, homebrewing will become a more attractive option for many. Charles Culp of Austin Homebrew Supply doesn’t see the hop shortage fundamentally changing our hobby. “Homebrewing is a lifestyle,” he says, “We do it because we like brewing. People aren’t going to throw this all away just because they can’t find any
Styrian Goldings.”

We’re all going to spend some time crying in our beers over the temporary absence of our favorite hop varieties. However, this shortage will likely spur a lot of innovation in brewing and — just as with the birth of the craft brewing industry — homebrewers will be a vital force in the process.

After a gloomy week of researching this story, I turned on CNN and saw that water may need to be rationed in some areas of the South next year. Looking for some good news, I called Greg Doss of Wyeast and asked if yeast would be available. He laughed. “Yeah,” he said, “we’ll make all the yeast you guys need.”

Read the entire article.

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