Hops fire shouldn't brew up price hikes

The bad news: A warehouse fire in Yakima, WA, wiped out 4% of the nation's total yield of hops.

The good news: The nation produces so much hops industry analysts don't think the consumer beer price will be affected.

The fire earlier this week is estimated to have caused $450,000 damage to the building and $5 million to its contents. Investigators from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is investigating the cause.

Gary Mayfield, the ATF's resident agent in charge, said, "It may be a few weeks before we can draw our conclusion. There's an enormous amount of hops to dig through and get to the origin of the fire and dig out all the evidence."

It is possible the fire was from spontaneous combustion caused by intense heat that builds up in 200-pound bales of compressed hops which contain 15 to 20% of resins and oils.

Want to read a bit more about hops? Try here.

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