Many brewers are hesitant to sign new contracts for hops, and hop suppliers understand why. The two primary reasons:
- Brewers are still working through excess hops from a previous contract—which may have been overly optimistic, signed before the pandemic that crippled sales.
- The supply of many hop varieties—including those that were once the most expensive and hard to get—now exceeds demand, and brewers know it. It’s often cheaper to shop on the spot market, and there are plenty of options.
Those reasons are pragmatic and relatable. On the other hand: Supply and demand are out of balance, in part, because contracts that were in place did not accurately reflect demand—and not only because of the pandemic.
That’s why many suppliers recently have been putting together initiatives to strengthen communications with brewers. For instance, Crosby Hops offers a 3,000-word primer on its website titled Hop Contracting Is Changing—Does Your Approach Need To Change With It?
Brewers have more options than they may realize.