I've been doing a lot of reading on the impending hop shortage, and it looks like it could be a rough ride for small brewers. There was a lively discussion on hops over at Lew Bryson's blog, and it looks like the next couple of years are going to be interesting. My worry is that small brewers here in Asheville who may not have contracts with hop brokers could find themselves without the necessary hops to make certain styles. Cascade hops are one of the most important hops in IPA's and Pale Ales, and even our own Asheville Brewing Company is feeling the sting of the shortage. This could also spell trouble for our two new breweries that are on the horizon, as both the Wedge Gallery Brewery and the brewery at the old T.S. Morrisons are going to be entering into a barren hop market. Hopefully they can make do, and perhaps concentrate on less hoppy beers to tide them over until this is all straightened out, which may not be until 2010. We're just going to have to keep our fingers crossed.
In lighter news, the Asheville Disclaimer recently poked fun at beer geeks in their latest edition in the Mountain Express. An excerpt from their 'beer review':
"It has just a wispy rumor of blueberry, as if an angel made of blueberries descended from blueberry heaven, alighted upon the rim of my pint glass and cut a big blueberry fart. It reminds me especially of other beers you’ve never heard of."
Who wouldn't enjoy an angelic blueberry fart?