business news in context, analysis with attitude

Higher ingredient costs, especially the price of hops, are expected to force many so-called craft brewers to raise their prices, which in turn could raise consumer beer prices by between 50 cents and a dollar for a six-pack.

The Wall Street Journal has an interview with Jim Koch of the Boston Beer Company, who notes that “hops are to Samuel Adams what grapes are to wine," and that “the cost increases have been the largest we've ever faced, both in barley and in hops.”

The Journal suggests that the price increases could slow the growth of the craft beer segment, which is the fastest growing beer category these days. The cost increases are less likely to affect major beer companies like Anheuser-Busch for two reasons: 1) big companies get better prices because they buy more, and 2) they use fewer hops in their beers.
KC's View:
We’re all going to have to start hoarding, just to save a little money. Besides, it always is reassuring to know that there’s Sam and Stella in the basement, just in case…