Hop Vendors Swallow A Bitter Pill As They Confront An Oversaturated Market & Customers Who Can’t Pay

“If you had to buy oxygen to stay alive and there was a shortage, you’d probably buy a couple extra bottles when you could, wouldn’t you?”

That’s partially how fourth-generation Washington hop grower Eric Desmarais excuses the thousands of craft brewers, who, panicking after a severe U.S. hop shortage that lasted from 2013-15, ordered well over a million excess pounds of the crop they’ve since discovered they don’t need and can’t necessarily pay for. The massive imbalance between what growers harvested in the fall of 2017 and what brewers can use has already caused one hop broker to file for Chapter 11 protection and threatens to upend brewers who got caught off guard by the glut they helped create.

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