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Beer Crisis Brewing as Heavy Rains Put a Pinch on America's Malt Barley Crops

by The Drink Nation on Sep 9, 2014 in Beer
Beer Crisis Brewing as Heavy Rains Put a Pinch on America's Malt Barley Crops

While farmers in Washington’s Yakima Valley report that they're picking more hops this year than in the past four, things aren't looking quite as rosy for beer's other key crop, malt barley.

As the country's largest malt barley producing state, Montana is like a bread basket for America's brewers. But weather conditions there this past August were not ideal for the staple ingredient for making beer. Billings Gazette reports that recent heavy rains completely saturated crops, causing much of the barley to sprout in the field, which makes it pretty much unusable for brewing up suds.

Does this mean it's the end of beer as we know it?

Not really.

There's still plenty of barley to go around. It's just going to cost more, because of the diminished crops yields. And surely that will translate into higher beer prices for drinkers in 2015.

There’s no time like the present to begin stocking up.  

Photo: Flickr user jaumescar


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