The Oregonian has excellent news for our local brewers: the hop crisis is over. In fact, there is a glut of hops on the market right now.
In 2007, hops became so expensive that brewers were fretting about their supply. Without hops, craft beer wouldn't be what it is today. We'd all be drinking Gruit instead of IPAs and all the rest.
There's no danger of that now. The newspaper reports:
"It's a complete reversal from a couple of years ago," says Ralph Olson of Hopunion LLC in Yakima, a major hop broker and supplier.
As an agricultural product, beer will always suffer from the vagaries of nature, supply and demand. But it's good to know that at least for now, the hops will keep coming.
Also, The New York Times reviews a range of stouts today. Frankly, I found the Times article a little stodgy. The writer, Eric Asimov, reminisces about hunting around NYC for Guinness. That's pretty far removed from the experiences of beer drinkers today.
The Times article focuses on classically styled stouts that are light in body. Fair enough, I suppose, but if I'm at a liquor store looking for a dark beer, I'm probably going to reach for an imperial stout such as Great Divide's Yeti.