18 February 2008

Never Complain About Jim Koch Again!!!

Lew Bryson reports (lifted from ProBrewer) in his blog that Jim Koch has offered limited but serious amounts of his brewery company's hop inventory to smaller craft brewers--AT COST:

For a couple of months now, we've all been facing the unprecedented hops shortage and it's affected all craft brewers in various ways. The impact is even worse on the small craft brewers--openings delayed, recipes changed, astronomical hops prices being paid and brewers who couldn't make beer.

So we looked at our own hops supplies at Boston Beer and decided we could share some of our hops with other craft brewers who are struggling to get hops this year. We're offering 20,000 pounds at our cost to brewers who need them. Specifically, we are able to spare 10,000 pounds of East Kent Goldings from Tony Redsell, a top English grower featured by Michael Jackson in Michael Jackson's Beer Companion (page 75 has a picture) and 10,000 pounds of the German Noble hop Tettnang Tettnanger from small farms in the Tettnang region in Germany. These are both type 90 pellets from the 2007 crop and are the exact same hops we brew our own beers with. We're not looking to make money on this so we're selling them at our cost of $5.72 a pound plus $.75 a pound to cover shipping and handling for the Goldings and $5.42 per pound plus $.75 a pound to cover shipping and handling for the Tetts. They're packed in 22# foil bags, boxed four bags to a box in 88 lb. boxes and will be shipped from cold storage.

The purpose of doing this is to get some hops to the brewers who really need them. So if you don't really need them, please don't order them. And don't order them just because we're making them available at a price way below market. Order them because you need these hops to make your beer. We're not asking questions, so let your conscience be your guide.

A few mechanics--until we know how much need there is, we've put a maximum out there of 6 boxes per brewer, which is 528 pounds. You can order less in 88 pound increments. You pay shipping. If we get more orders than the 20,000 pounds, we'll have a lottery. We will be putting the basic information to order, some faqs and the actual offer on our website www.samueladams.com in the next day or so, probably no later than Tuesday. Look for "Hop-Sharing Program" on the front page of the site.

We hope this will make brewing a little easier for those hardest hit by the hop shortage.

Jim Koch, Boston Beer Company

Now, I've heard folks complain about Sam Adams in the past. If you're reading this, you probably have, too. But the fact remains that Koch's beers and company was the greatest gift to the craft brewing "industry" (not that it could be called that back then) in the 1980s. FAR too many of us started drinking beer because we were attracted to a small upstart offering a beer with--horrors!--actual flavor and quality at a time in the mid-1980s when it was considered a miracle to find draft Guinness or Michelob Dark in many markets. And from there, many of us progressed to more local or interesting beers (Wild Goose in Cambridge in my case, although hardly "local" to central Pennsylvania).

Some of us may be able to pick a nit here or there (remember the "Cranberry Lambic"?), but I don't want to hear anyone say that Koch has left his roots behind.

And if you get any hops from them through this notice, my commission is one pint of beer made with that hop, should I get to you in time. (^_^)

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