Hops (as in those used to brew beer) have suffered the same fate as have many other crops: reduced acreage and increased demand, both of which have driven prices up. Weather also affects the growth of hops, and a long winter in the hops-heavy Pacific Northwest last year really affected availability. Seventy percent of U.S. hops are grown in Yakima, Washington, and the long winter of 2008 added to the woes begun with a big warehouse fire in 2007. Finally, the growing interest in using croplands to produce biofuels has removed acreage formerly used for growing hops.
Hops are more expensive now because hops and barley malts are in short supply which raises the cost tremendously for brewers.
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