by Deborah Mitchell
Hop Contracts

This is a serious topic folks so if your going to contract hops do it right....

Geterbrewed have been supplying hops to breweries for a few years now and we have found the attitude towards hop contracts worrying at times, don't get me wrong the large proportion of our brewers manage their hop contracts well, but some are reck-less and don't consider the impact this might have on our business if they get the quantities wrong.

Brewers basically have two choices they can contract hops at a set price or they can buy on 'Spot market' prices, the contract secures the hops and quantity were as spot market is only when surplus is available. Generally Spot market prices are higher than contract

Geterbrewed are proud to say they have never let anyone down on a hop contract, if you contract hops with us we make sure the availability is there. Some hop merchants regularly don't fulfil hop contracts and then you see some brewers thinking this is the norm so they over contract and you can see the problems this may bring.

Geterbrewed is a hop merchant plus we are a small family run business, we work closely with our hop merchants and hop farmers, we have to honour our contracts so when someone contracts recklessly it has a huge impact. If you don't know how to plan your hop usage then don't guess! If you need more hops throughout the year we can usually source them so its better to be contracting a safe amount.

Geterbrewed Cold Store their hops and if a package needs broken down into a small amount they are nitrogen flushed and foil vac packed to preserve freshness, we allow brewers to draw off their contract as they need it but we do ask for good communication so we can ensure we manage our stock levels correctly. A Hop Contract is a serious agreement that can be challenged legally and you need to be taking it seriously.

We've had a few people walk away from hop contracts and others let us down with volumes but we have to pay our contracts so be prepared to be challenged legally if you get it wrong!

What is a Hop Contract?

In its simplest terms its an agreement between the hop merchant and the brewery on what hops they are agreeing to take for a set term, usually based on an annual requirement of each variety, forecasts can be up to five years in advance

Why Should I Hop Contract?

Simple to secure the most sought after varieties, plus the cost savings per kilo and it allows the growers and hop merchants to plan

How do I get a Hop Contract?

Contact us and talk about your requirements, good communication is key, if we know how you will order and what varieties you plan to use an when its fairly simple, we enter into an agreement and you get the hops you need when you need them

What volume of Hops do I need to Contract?

Geterbrewed cover all sizes of hop contracts, from brewpubs wants to secure small sought after varieties to some of the largest breweries in Ireland.

How far in advance should I contract hops?

Geterbrewed recommend you contract at least 3 years in advance if you are wanting to provide security of supply for the most sought after varieties

In summary the hop industry is serious business we have farmers, their workers and a whole chain of people that rely on an income, plans need to be concrete and the contracts need to honoured. Be responsible!