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I am thinking of setting up a microbrewery. Is it recommended to sign a multi-year contract with a hops provider or farm?


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Andrew Heino from Pacific Brewing Company Llc

Multi year with a provider for sure. And everything you can't get from them you can try and get from Farms. Best way to get a good price and the hops you want. First year contracts are almost impossible to get the hops you want. We signed a three year and only could get one hop out of the 10 we wanted for the first year but every hop we wanted (but one) for the second and third. You can buy what's available for spot purchase but they might not have what you want and once they run out you are out of luck. Good luck! Start collecting 

Oct 7, 2013

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Hirendu Unknown from Alpine Hops

You should try to get a contract for as much of your hops you can get. But for new breweries it would be difficult to project exact usage (as recipes and popularity of your beer may change). You can try to get hops on spot purchase but some of the high demand hops you will find nearly impossible to get on spot basis (and of course you will pay much higher price). 
One important point - build relationships with other microbreweries nearby - then you can share/swap your hops with them when needed. 
And yes as Claudia said - go direct to farmer if you can. They are the hardest working and most risk taking persons in the chain and you should try to support them. 

Sep 28, 2015

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Claudia Kuchinski from Hops-Meister

Don't bother going through the middlemen, go farm direct.  You can talk directly with the farmers and ask them directly what they are doing with their crop.  You're also supporting a small business.  
For more information check out www.hopsmeister.com or email us at [email address]

Jul 22, 2015

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Debbie Gebert from Alpha Hop Sales

It is always better to contract at least a year and 2 if you can get them.  That helps with availability along with pricing.  Pricing can go either way but you are locked in and helps with budgeting when you know the price and not having to depend on spot market pricing.
I would be glad to help you with what we offer. We take contracts up until harvest and then always try to have extras available for spots. 

May 13, 2014

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