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Feb 18, 2008 03:58 PM

Nice gesture by Jim Koch

"For a couple of months now, we've all been facing the unprecedented hops shortage and it's affected all craft brewers in various ways. The impact is even worse on the small craft brewers--openings delayed, recipes changed, astronomical hops prices being paid and brewers who couldn't make beer.

So we looked at our own hops supplies at Boston Beer and decided we could share some of our hops with other craft brewers who are struggling to get hops this year. We're offering 20,000 pounds at our cost to brewers who need them."

I think it says something about the craft brew industry. I can't imagine this happening between many other businesses.

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  1. Jim Koch is bashed a lot for various reasons I don't understand. I enjoy Sam Adams beers, although they are not my faves, so I usually only drink them when I'm at a place with no better choices. However, Jim is the Lord of all beer advocates, and we all should buy a case of SA to show our appreciation for what he is tryin to do for the industry.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Bobfrmia

      I've had the good fortune of meeting Jim a couple of times. He's always been nothing but a great guy. The first time was on a Sam Adams Casco Bay cruise in Portland that I scored tickets to. When we ran out of beer he told the captain to high-tail it back to the docks, after 1/2 hour, he was directing guys back on the boat with 6 more kegs! He was a hoot to watch half in the wrapper swaying on the ship with a butt in his mouth. His wife also became the VP of the biotech company I worked for after we merged with her company and every Friday there were cases of SA in our break room. Also got to go to a private bash at the brewery which was some of the most fun I've ever had. He's a super guy who loves his work and especially his product!

    2. I have mixed feelings about this gesture. On one hand its good to see a large brewer helping out the little guys, but at the same time, if it wasn' for large brewers buying more hops than the need, the little guys wouldn't be in the place they are now. Not to mentioned how the homebrewers are getting screwed big time by breweries who have hoarded away too many hops.

      6 Replies
      1. re: LStaff

        Large brewer!?? I love it.
        Sure he is a large brewer compared to most microbrewers, but compared to a real large brewer, you know who they are, he is just an annoying flea on their backside.

        1. re: TroyTempest

          They are creeping up to 2 million bbls. per year. Yeah, large brewery.

          Just goes to show you what a behemoth A-B and the other beer conglomerates are.

          The fleas are making the elephants take notice though. A-B has desperately been trying to crack into the craft market the last two years.

        2. re: LStaff

          Well, to be fair, there were many other factors involved in the hops and malt shortage we brewers are now feeling. Craft brew grew by 16%, hops were overfarmed in the 90's creating surplus and lowering farmer's profits. Add to that a shitty growing season and you have yourself a shortage...

          1. re: LStaff

            What are you basing this on?

            I thought that A-B owned its own sources of hops.

            1. re: brentk

              A-B owns the Elk Mountain Hop Farm in Idaho, but IIRC that facility supplies less than 10% of their total hop usage. They also, obviously, have long-term contracts with other US and European hop farmers.

              1. re: JessKidden

                So if they are purchasing hops under long term contracts, that would negate the argument that they are hoarding hops. It doesn't make any sense to me that a publicly-traded company would hoard hops it doesn't need in order to drive the price up.

                In fact, I don't even think the macro brewers are using much of the hop varieties that are in short supply.

          2. I read this morning that Sierra Nevada, Deschutes and others have made similar gestures, adding up to tens of thousands of pounds of hops, and that AB and Coors have helped small brewers source hops.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Jim Dorsch

              Coors? What would Coors know about hops?? ;)

              1. re: Kinnexa

                Close to 30 years ago, Coors supplied malt to one of the first modern microbreweries, the Boulder Brewing Co, which still does business today.