Beer prices are expected to rise in January 2015 after heavy rainfall disturbed barley harvests in the western United States, according to this report published in the Montana newspaper Billings Gazette.
In Idaho, heavy August rainfall caused 50% of the barley crop in some areas to germinate, essentially sprouting too early for brewing companies to use it for beer. At the end of August, heavy rain in Montana resulted in germination of more than 50% of barley crops there. Additionally, North Dakota’s barley experienced increased weather woes this summer, says the Gazette.
In case you didn’t know the nation’s kings of barley, as of 2011, the top three barley growers were Idaho with 46.5 million bushels, Montana with 31 million bushels, and North Dakota with 16.5 million bushels, according to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center.
This season's smaller barley supply (well, the type that's used for beer-making; germinated barley is used for animal feed) is up against demand that will either stay the same or increase, thus causing a price spike. It's basic economics.
So, when you make a beer run before the big game and think, “That much just for a six pack?” just remember what we told you so. Or stock up for Super Bowl Sunday now.
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