What is the purpose of a hop contract? Why should I contract my hops?
Hop contracts allow both Hopunion and our grower-owners the opportunity to efficiently coordinate the supply/demand of our most popular hop varieties. Contracts ensure brewers’ access to the hop varieties and brewing quantities they require while simultaneously allowing our growers the ability to account for future growth and plant hop varieties according to customer needs. As a result of this coordination, contract breweries of any size can achieve significant cost savings.
How do I establish a hop contract?
You can establish a hop contract by contacting your regional Hopunion sales representative or our knowledgeable contracting staff at 1-509-574-5125. *Please have in mind the varieties and quantities that you wish to contract.
You can locate a sales map for all of our regional representatives by visiting the Know Your Sales Team website page.
Is there a minimum order quantity for hop contacts?
$3,000 is our minimum contract value. While this can seem large to someone just starting out, the total value can be spread across multiple years, varieties and pack sizes. We are able to contract hops in any multiple of our standard packaging sizes (ie: 11# or 44# pellets, 11# mini bales, ¼ bales, ½ bales, full bales, etc).
Do you have a price and availability list?
Hopunion publishes an annual price list, however, due to the nature of agricultural commodities, availability is subject to change. It is important to note that sometimes, availability changes in your favor as we are able to secure additional acreage or hops!
Please contact your regional Hopunion sales representative or one of our knowledgeable sales coordinators at 1-800-952-4873 to obtain the most current listing.
Do you offer hop samples to homebrewers?
At this time, Hopunion does not offer hop samples to homebrewers.
Why are some hops such as Citra®HBC 394 cv and Amarillo®VGXP01 cv always sold out?
Because hops are an agricultural commodity, there are a number of influences, such as acreage, intellectual property rights and varying yields, which all affect the yearly supply/demand of a hop. First, acreage limits the supply of a hop because without prior knowledge of contracted hop needs, there is a certain level of speculation for the spot demand of any given hop variety. If demand unexpectedly spikes, there is a minimum 1-3 year time lapse before growers can plant new acreage and harvest substantial yields. Even if demand does not increase for a particular variety, acreage may be limited by the fact that many of the craft industry’s most popular hops, such as Citra® and Amarillo®, are proprietary varieties with limited growers and supply.
Simply stated, hops are an unpredictable, agricultural product that cannot be limitlessly produced. We do our best at Hopunion to procure varieties that meet our customers’ needs, however, some elements remain beyond our control. To ensure your inventory, we encourage hop contracts for all of your basic varietal needs.
What packaging sizes are available?
We supply our hop pellets in 11# and 44# boxes with (2) 22# bags inside. Domestic raw hops can be purchased in 11# mini bales, 50# ¼ bales, or 200# full bales. Imported raw hops are also available as mini bales, ¼ bales, ½ bales or full bales, but weights vary by variety so please call for current availability.
Hopunion also supplies 1 oz. and 1 lb packaging for homebrewers in both pellet and raw hop form.
With the new soft packs, how will I be able to determine if the quality of my hops has been compromised?
To verify that the integrity of your hops has not been compromised, simply test the soft pack by lifting up on the top of the bag (prior to opening) to see both sides slightly suck in. We are confident that the quality of the new soft packing system is better than the previous hard packs and assure customers that the soft vacuum they see when lifting on the seal is a sign of uncompromised product.
Does Hopunion sell to homebrewers?
No. Hopunion does not sell directly to homebrewers, however, we do supply the full selection of Hopunion hops in 1 oz. and 1 lb. packaging to homebrew supply stores throughout North America. For a list of locations carrying Hopunion hops, please consult the “Store Locator” portion of our website.
Does Hopunion supply organic hops?
Yes. Hopunion is a strong supporter of 100% organic beers. We are increasingly committed to expanding our organic selection, however, current availability is limited to import varieties. We are happy to discuss your organic needs, so please feel free to contact us at any time.
Does Hopunion offer downstream products?
Yes. Hopunion offers a variety of downstream products including hop extracts and oils. Please consult the "Hop Products" portion of our website for a full list of product availability.
Where can I find dosage /calculation rates for my downstream products?
Dosage calculators can be found under the "Brewing Tools" portion of our website.
When are hops harvested and how soon can I expect hop pellets?
The Pacific Northwest hop harvest begins with low alpha aroma varieties during the last week of August and continues through late September or early October with the higher alpha varieties. Due to the agricultural nature of hops, harvest schedules/windows vary based on yield and maturity.
Pelletizing begins during the fall, after all of the hops are received, and continues through the beginning of the following year.
How long will my hops stay fresh?
Hop deterioration is impacted by numerous variables, the two most important being heat exposure and oxidation. For properly sealed, nitrogen flushed pellets, customers can expect a 3-4 year life expectancy. Raw hops however have a much shorter life span (approximately 6 months to 1 year). Regardless of the product size or packaging, hops should be stored in a cold, air tight environment to ensure optimum freshness and quality.
Where do you purchase your hops?
We purchase our hops from the finest growing hop regions in the world, including the Pacific Northwest, Australia, New Zealand, England, Germany, France, Slovenia and the Czech Republic.
You can learn more about our grower-owners by visiting the "Our Growers" page.
What is hop toxicity and how does it affect my dog (or pet)?
As the hobby of home brewing continues to grow, pets have an increased risk of exposure to hop toxicity. The exact toxic principle is unknown, however, when spent hops are ingested by dogs or cats, poisoning occurs and a condition called malignant hyperthermia develops. Symptoms include uncontrolled, elevated body temperature, increased breathing, racing heart, anxiety, vomiting, abnormal clotting, and in many cases (without treatment) death. If your pet has consumed spent hops, please contact your vet immediately or the animal poison control center.
What is the difference between contract year and brewing year?
Each of our contracts is based off of the year that the hops were harvested. For example, 2014 contracts are for hops that were harvested during the fall of 2014. Due to receiving and production, these hops are actually shipped and utilized in the brewhouse during calendar (or brewing) year 2015.
How far in advance can I contract hops?
We are currently contracting hops through 2020, however, this may not be the best timeline for everyone. At the minimum, we recommend that you contract three years into the future, especially for high demand varieties. The more information we have regarding your needs, the better equipped we are to communicate with our grower-owners and appropriately increase supply.
What are your hours of operation?
We are open and actively manning the phone lines from 7am - 4pm PST, Monday through Friday. If you happen to call and no one is available to answer, please leave us a message or shoot us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll do our best to return your message within 24 hours.