The worldwide Hop Shortage has hit us all hard. We’ve pondered its devastating effects at O’Briens over a cold Racer 5, as we lament that this years Exponential Hoppiness tasting was limited to just three separate vintages of the worlds greatest beer. We rended our garments and were heard to lament “Damn You Hop shorta-Hey, I’ll take another Pliny”
Well the shortage continues to wreak havok on a shaken beer community. Just this week, Williams Brewing lifted its rationing of hops for home brewers, no doubt because so many people had been driven out of the hobby by the scarcity of hops. Now that you’ve sold off your equipment, you’re free to buy all the hops you want. Oh, the bitter, hoppy irony.
Also, the Russian River Brewery, makers of the above mentioned Pliny the Elder, have announced that their terrific Blind Pig IPA will soon be available in bottles:
By making this delicious, hoppy IPA available in large quantities in stores, Russian River delivers a crushing blow to the pubs all across America who were already reeling from the hop shortage.
Finally, San Diego’s Union Tribune, in a rare display of printing content not culled directly from an AP Wire, set out to chronicle the beer ghost town that is San Diego. Beer columnist Peter Rowe trekked out to 30th Street (two blocks from my house) and was only able to find nine establishments in the 3 miles stretch of road he traversed serving world class food and beer. Mr. Rowe would have likely continued further up the street, but he likely was done in by a tumbleweed, or he possibly just exceeded his allotted word count talking about the options on this one street alone.
Check back soon for further updates on this crisis. Updates to follow will hopefully include the Stone Brewery 12th anniversary party on 8/16, the San Diego Festival of Beer on 9/19, as well as another Stone Beer Garden RiffTrax screening of Jurassic Park on 8/27. I will report from each with a parched throat and a tear in my eye.
UPDATE: Tom Nickel confirms our worst Hop Shortage fears in his most recent email update. Monday the 11th we will release the new batch of Alpine’s Exponential Hoppiness, Thursday the 14th we feature a duo of Alpine casks – Exponential Hoppiness and Duet IPA and Friday the 15th we will feature 15 different IPAs and Double IPAs on tap – all of them in full kegs – including Blind Pig, Pliny the Elder, Racer X, Green Flash Imperial IPA, Coronado Islander IPA, Pure Hoppiness, Poor Man’s IPA, Torpedo IPA and more!
The ravaged beer-scape of the 2008 Hop Shortage ladies and gentlemen!