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 – Police are looking for young man in connection to a homicide in South Fargo. On Friday, September 21, 2018 at 11:23 a.m., Fargo Police and Fire personnel responded to an apartment located within 2302 17 St. S. for medical…

by Ryan Jankeryanjanke@hpr1.comPhoto by Anne BradleyValkyries of the Valley will invade the North Dakota Apartment Wrestling Federation (NDAWF) for Brawl-esque, a variety show that will be held at Prairie Brothers Brewing Company…

Best Bets

Spirit Talk

by HPR Staff

Thursday, September 27, 7-9 p.m.Homewood Suites by Hilton Fargo, 2021 16th St N., FargoGet in touch with the other side! Sunny Dawn Johnston will help you reach the spirit world in this two-hour, eye-opening event. This is a group…

It’s bad enough when his word versus her word regarding sexual assault gets out in a high school hallway, but can you imagine it spreading throughout the national news media? Imagine reliving those events every time you turn on…

We failed to educate the players of “flag” footballI passed all of the American history courses in Morrison County District 54, Little Falls High School, and Moorhead State Teachers College, but I’m often appalled about what…

FARGO - A collection of memories from High Plains Reader's annual Cocktail Showdown. Participants were judged on creativity, flavor, and presentation; and this year we added a new category. Like years before, each establishment was…

by Ryan Jankeryanjanke@hpr1.comAs I sat across from my wife at Himalayan Yak Tuesday evening, it dawned on me that time had slowed down. So often when we go out to eat, we are in a hurry. We get anxious when we aren’t greeted…

Music

Back in the saddle

by Sabrina Hornung

After a long hiatus members of Teenage Lobotomy reunited for the first time in 22 years at Center Fest in Robinson North Dakota this summer. With influences such as Husker Du and the Circle Jerks their high energy immediately had…

Director Craig William Macneill speculates on the infamous legend surrounding Massachusetts murder suspect Lizzie Borden in “Lizzie,” a long-germinating labor of love for star Chloe Sevigny. Working from a screenplay by Bryce…

It may be cliche to say the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, but when wet plate artist Shane Balkowitsch found out that his 15-year-old daughter Abby Balkowitsch was following in his photography footsteps, he was…

by Stella Mehlhoffstellamehlhoff@gmail.com“Our mission is to invigorate civic conversation through intimate and transformative storytelling.” This statement posted on Theatre B’s website and tacked to their studio wall in…

In the approximately three years I’ve been writing for the High Plains Reader it seems I’ve always circled back to comedian Adam Quesnell. First, I wrote about his farewell show before he set out from Fargo and the comedy…

When walking into the new space on 1st Ave N that now houses Drekker brewing, one can only say, “Wow.” The majesty of the interior is unprecedented for a brewery in the region and provides a feeling of awe and astonishment.…

I’m a big man, I’m tall and powerful, but this also causes some issues in the body department. I suffer from acute scoliosis in my lower back, and pain radiates from this area on a daily basis. I have only ever had one massage…

By Melissa Martinmelissamartincounselor@live.comThink back to one of your worst small decisions. Then answer the following questions:How did you make the decision?What happened after the decision?When did you know it was the worst…

by Andrew Alexis Varvelmr.a.alexis.varvel@gmail.com“If a piece of equipment purchased in the 1920s is kept up and can guarantee, at present, an operable rate close to 100 percent and if it can bear the production burden placed on…