July 18, 2013

Great hop deals

Summer can be the perfect time to pick up new hops. Many places are trying to unload the rest of the prior year's northern hemisphere hops in anticipation of getting this year's harvest in a few months. The New Zealand and Australian hop harvest is starting to trickle in about as much as we will see them. You can get pretty much everything right now except for the hardcore demanded hops, like Amarillo and Citra, but if you scavenge long enough you can find a lot of them, too. Today I wanted to post up a couple places running really good deals right now. I don't have any affiliation with either, I just thought these deals were worth pointing out.

Farmhouse Brewing Supply

Farmhouse Brewing Supply is a relatively new shop that sells a nice variety of ingredients. From time to time they also sell small barrels, so if you're looking for a barrel it's one place to watch. Farmhouse Brewing Supply also gets in a really diverse hop selection and sells at very competitive prices. I'm not sure how the owners do it, but they tend to have a lot of experimental hops in stock. So FBS is a good place if you're looking to add a unique hop to your beer. Several of the experimental hops they have sold in the past have turned into major commercial varieties, like Mosaic.

Overall, hops are prices among the cheapest you can find in one ounce or four ounce increments. Most hops sell in the $1-2/ounce range in four ounce bags. That's a huge win for small batch brewing because normally you have to choose between buying hops by the ounce at $2-4 each or buy by the pound and hope you can go through everything you use before it goes bad.

Among the four ounce bags are plenty of great deals. There are several four ounce hop bags running as low as $0.60 per ounce. You can find almost every kind of hop in these cheap deals: old school American varieties like mount hood; German hops; English-style hops; newer American varieties; and even some of the newer eastern European varieties. Some of the cheap hops are very widely used, such as Columbus, but you can also find less used varieties like Styrian Celeia. At those prices, it's really enticing to play around with some really unique combinations.

As an added bonus, shipping costs are extremely reasonable because they will ship through USPS at what I assume is first class mail.

Seven Bridges Cooperative

Seven Bridges Cooperative is a shop that focuses on selling organic brewing ingredients (along with equipment and some coffee beans). Like most things organic, they are usually more expensive than the non-organic versions. I don't usually buy organic but I initially came across Seven Bridges when I was hunting Rakau hops. They are one of the few places selling them. I'm not sure whether that is because they have the supply left due to high prices or they just bought enough to support their sales.

However, in spite of their normally high prices, they are running some insane sales. Here are the crazy hop deals you can find:

  • 2007 Belgian Admiral: 6oz for $4.60
  • 2008 NZ Cascade: one pound for $2.40 (not a typo)
  • Fuggles: five pounds for $48
  • 2008 NZ Hallertau: 6oz for $4.76
Ok, you might have noticed those are some old hops. However, if they were cold stored in vacuum-sealed bags, they are probably still in decent shape but maybe a little mild on the flavor, aroma and IBU. Generous hop additions would probably get you to where you need to be. Plus, you could pick up those hops and leave them at room temperature to have plenty of aged hops on hand for lambics. $2.40 for a pound of hops is cheaper than anywhere else sells old hops.

One thing I will warn you about is that SBC scalps customers on shipping. I looked at buying a pound of those NZ cascade and it was going to be $10 to ship. Come on, that's ridiculous. To be fair, as I added more pounds to the shopping cart the shipping costs increased marginally. So if you're going to buy, you might as well buy several pounds at once.

Sorry today's post wasn't more interesting subject matter but I thought the deals were worth passing along. Right now I'm waiting for yeast to culture and exiting batches to finish their clean up after fermentation so I can get to work brewing some new beers and working on some new material to post.


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