They're hops, the ingredient that gives a bitter freshness to beers. Wired Magazine has a piece on how craft brewers are dealing with a worldwide shortage of hops.
Prices of the commodity are skyrocketing as hop supplies have plummeted, forcing smaller brewmasters around the United States to begin quietly tweaking their recipes, in ways that are easily discerned by serious imbibers.
he shortage -- caused by a dwindling number of hop growers worldwide, and exacerbated by a Yakima, Washington, warehouse fire -- has forced Gortemiller to use fewer and different hops than before, changing the flavor of his beer. He's also resorted to beer hacks, like "dry hopping," in which the hops are added late to the mix, consuming fewer hops and yielding a more consistent flavor.
Yikes! We love hoppy beers, especially in the summer. Have you noticed any changes in local craft beers, or an increase in prices?
Read the whole article here:
(Image: Jim Merithew for Wired.com)