Scott Wilson wrote a piece in the LA Times about the USDA organic rule that officially puts hops on the non-required list for organic beer (he interviewed me for the piece but I guess I didn’t say anything newsworthy cause he doesn’t quote me on anything!).
Wilson notes that:
Sales of organic beer, though still a small portion of total beer sales, have been growing even faster than overall organic food sales. They reached $19 million in 2005, a 40% increase over the previous year (2006 figures are not yet available).
Trying to get a share of the market for green products, Anheuser-Busch introduced two organic beers in September, and soon pitched them in fliers to wholesalers.
The piece continues about how Anheuser-Busch claims it’s Wild Hop Lager to be “the perfect organic experience,” yet it “uses hops grown with chemical fertilizers and sprayed with pesticides.”
Here is a link to my blog post about Lakefront Brewery’s official comments on this rule. I’ll be meeting the Lakefront owner next week and hope to discuss how we might collaborate to stimulate the market for organic hops. Here is a link to my alert post about the proposed rule change. I will also be dedicating my next column in American Brewer to this issue.