Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Biofuels boom could send price of beer rising

The ethanol boom has had many consequences for food and fuel markets around the world, and now beer drinkers may start feeling the effects. As a result of more farmers changing crops to cash in on the ethanol boom, the price of beer could be going up in the next few months, reports Teresa Garcia of ABC-7 in San Francisco.

That's because the price of two major beer ingredients — malted barley and hops — has risen due to shortages worldwide. The price of a pound of hops has gone from $5 to $20 in recent years due to poor harvests in 2006 and 2007. On top of that, fewer farmers are growing the crops in hopes of making more from biofuel crops.

"You have this huge crunch for ethanol production, so fields that were doing barley in the mid-west are now switching over to corn. It's subsidized, plus you know there's a huge demand for it," said Dan Gordon, owner of Gordon Biersch Bewing Co. Gordon said the shortages could mean the price of a six-pack of "craft beers" — those made by smaller brewers — could go up 50 cents by February or March. (Read more)

No comments: