Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Local craft brewers see no shortages of hops

by Chris Larson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Beer Snob | March 22nd, 2017

It was right around this time last year that news articles around the world were spreading fear about a looming hop crisis. Supposedly driven by an overwhelming influx of new brewery startups, as well as the American craft beer consumers desire for ultra hopped-up brews, there was a hop crisis in the making that would result in both huge spikes in hop prices as well as possible shortages of some of the most commonly used hop varieties. Stories were coming from a wide variety of media outlets including major news organizations as well as industry publications like Growler Magazine.

So there I was, one year later, sitting down with Zachary Click, the Operations Manager at Fargo Brewing Company to get his take on the hop game and whether or not it has impacted either production or pricing of their locally crafted beers. Not only was I somewhat surprised to find out that the fuss about a hop “crisis” in the near future was mostly overblown but I was perhaps more surprised to learn that Zach and Fargo Brewing currently have hop contracts signed that take them well into 2020.

During a conversation over a “Green” Dad’s Pale Ale, he explained to me how securing the contract for that long in advance means that both the brewery and its customers can rest assured that their favorite recipes will be consistent from year to year, with all the flavors added by popular hop breeds like Citra and Mosaic.

For the most part, the hop market responded to the need with a large influx of new hop farms and farmers as well as new experimental hop varieties to take some pressure off the demand for the same old varieties. When it comes to those extremely popular hop varieties, yes, prices have increased over the last few years and some major breweries are making moves that many in the industry see as attempts to mitigate costs and keep their hopped up pale ales profitable and affordable.

Just this year, New Belgium brewing completely revamped the recipes of its popular Ranger and Rampant IPAs and reintroduced them as their Voodoo IPA series. While the recipes do still contain the increasingly popular Mosaic and Amarillo hops, there is no mention of Citra hops and like many others, they are using additions of hops like Calypso, Bravo, and Delta that are not nearly as in demand and probably were easier to secure affordable contracts for.

There are rumors in the industry that California craft giant Sierra Nevada (who like New Belgium also now operates a second facility in North Carolina) is considering retiring their beloved Hop Hunter IPA, which is brewed with steam distilled hop oil and whole cone hops, both ingredients that have seen rather large demand and notable price increases recently.

Fargo Brewing is responding to the hops market’s somewhat unpredictable nature by not only securing long-term contracts to keep popular recipes intact for years to come, but by familiarizing themselves and their customers with lesser-known and experimental varieties of hops. Some are so experimental that they have yet to be given names and are still referred to as numbers.

Fargo Brewing recently finished their first run of what Zach hopes will become a recurring theme with their “Noch Ein Bier” Single Hop Series that featured 4 distinct German varieties of hops, added separately to the same malt bill to present 4 different clear and concise comparisons of each hop’s flavor profile. They are also looking forward to highlighting both classic and experimental hops by augmenting their newly popular Dad’s Pale Ale and the “Green” Dad’s Pale Ale we enjoyed during our conversation about hops.

Perhaps rather than retiring beloved brands or changing out recipes, brewers that are unable to secure large enough contracts for their needs will move these beers to very small annual releases, which are great ways to generate excitement for special brews that are often too resource-intensive to be very profitable.

Locally, we have one of those beers that is so overloaded with ridiculous amounts of hops that it only gets released once per year in very limited quantities. A great day for local hopheads who yearn for a balanced beer that is bursting with huge hop flavors from Chinook, Horizon, Cascade, Mosaic, Falconer’s Flight and Falconer’s Flight 7C’s is fast approaching.

Fargo Brewing Company will once again be throwing a 1.21 Gigahops release party at the brewery, with music from Pat Lenertz, The Cropdusters, and a tribute to Huey Lewis and the News by the Moody River Band.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

1.21 Gigahops Release Party

Thursday, April 20

Fargo Brewing Co., 601 University Dr N, Fargo, 701-478-2337

Tickets at the brewery, at the ale house, 4445 17th Ave S, 701-205-4188 or squareup.com/store/fargobrewing/.

Recently in:

FARGO – Two of the three Somali-American women threatened with murder two days ago by a white woman outside a local Walmart, met their attacker Thursday afternoon at the Fargo Police Department, and left in friendship.“We…

Culture

​The Dark Net

by Chuck Solly

Did you know that there is a backside to the Internet? I guess we all have backsides, don’t we? The backside of the Internet has many functions, none of which you can access from Google. Dark Net sites are just like normal web…

Thursday July 27, 5pmDowntown CasseltonTake a day trip and cruise down to Casselton. Free car show, 50/50 raffle, cash, prizes, fun galore and just maybe an engine blow up. Hot rods on hot sod? Count us in. Hosted by the Swanks,…

Editorial

Who asked you?

by Sabrina Hornung

Our opinion: You cannot fool all the people all the time, unless they are from North Dakota.This week Gallup poll reported that at 59% North Dakota has the second largest Trump approval rating in the nation, nipping at West…

A reasonable conclusion: “We should have killed our baby.”For some unfathomable reason, some people think they are immortal, that death is not a part of life. Our culture tends to teach us to avoid the topic of death as if it…

The moment of truth has arrived. After seven weeks of sampling and judging some of the finest libations in the area the results for this year’s Cocktail Showdown have arrived. Christopher Larson, Raul Gomez and Sabrina Hornung…

On a sultry Thursday night, I sauntered into Luna. Situated on South University next to Bernie’s Beer and Wine, it isn’t exactly a hole in the wall, but it is certainly off the beaten path, and as described by their motto it is…

Most of us only hear about world records secondhand. Many might think they’re not up to the challenge, others might not see the point of breaking one, and others just read about them in books and think of them as an exotic…

Luc Besson’s “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” -- touted as the costliest independent motion picture ever made -- simultaneously melts eyeballs with its gorgeous visuals and narcotizes brains with its stiff…

Within the borders of North Dakota lie many worlds that are each expressing themselves in traditional art and culture. During his time as the state folklorist, Troyd Geist has been documenting a diverse array of cultural identities…

Summer Arts Intensive performs main stage musicalUnder the summer sun, something’s begun, taking over those summer nights. The 1978 movie and musical hit Grease is taking stage as part of the Summer Arts Intensive in West Fargo.…

Humor

​Talking to strangers

by Sabrina Hornung

“I don’t have a tour, like, on the back of a sweatshirt,” comedian Paula Poundstone says. “I go out every weekend. This weekend I went out Friday, Saturday and Monday. Mostly it’s Friday/Saturday or Thursday through…

Minnesota is certainly well known for being a hotspot for craft brewing. While most of the action has been centered around the Minneapolis metro area, yet another brewer from the Northern part of the state has decided to bring its…

Essential oils. They are all the buzz lately. It seems everyone has heard of them or is purchasing them. Some people know how to use them; others are just interested in the wonder of their complex scents.Essential oils are as…

Live and Learn

​The other shoe

by HPR Contributor

By Elizabeth Nawrotnawrot@mnstate.eduI look up from my hotel lobby breakfast astonished to see a framed print of Wassily Kandinsky's "Mit und Gegen,” a masterpiece of color and composition that just happens to be my favorite…

“…the struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.” – Milan Kundera“It may seem kind of bleak to say that the future of our planet rests in large part on the consciences of Republican…