Hop Sharing Program

I have been talking to brewers, hop dealers and to the craft brewers who have received loans from our Brewing the American Dream program and,  have been told about the difficulties that many brewers are having getting some of the new and very in demand hops used in IPAs and other hoppy beers.

Hops like Simcoe, Citra and Ahtanum were sold out for the 2011 crop year and are very close to sold out for crop 2012.  Hopefully, the 2012 crop year will be a good one and there will be excess hops above contracts but it is still too early to tell. At Boston Beer, we contract with hop dealers and growers (a practice which we and other members of the Pipeline Committee strongly recommend) and as a result, we believe that our current inventories will safely take us into the 2012 crop.

So, we think we can make some hops available to brewers who may be in greater need. Specifically, we can share up to 10,000 pounds of Simcoe, 10,000 pounds of Citra and 10,000 pounds of Ahtanum hops. They are type 90 pellets from the 2011 crop packaged in 44 pound boxes. As we did with our hop sharing program in 2008, we will sell them at our cost: $6.50 per pound for the Simcoe and the Citra and $5.50 per pound for the Ahtanum.

We want to help prioritize hops for brewers who really need them. Brewers may request a minimum of 1 box, which is 44 lbs. of one hop variety, and maximum of 10 boxes but in an effort to help as many craft brewers as we can, we will try to fulfill the first 6 boxes requested before we fulfill any additional boxes. If we receive more requests that we can fulfill, we will hold a lottery to fulfill the first 6 boxes of each request. The deadline to put in your request for hops in July 13, 2012.

We are trying to make these limited quantities of hops available to those who have a real need for them. So if you don’t really need them or just find the price attractive, we hope that you will not request hops. We are not a hop dealer and would prefer to keep these hops unless they are going to brewers who truly need them.

If you do need them, details of how to request hops can be found in our FAQ.

Jim Koch

Founder & Brewer, The Boston Beer Company




Send an email to HopsSharing@samueladams.com with the following information:

  1. Brewery Name
  2. Brewers Notice Number
  3. Brewery Mailing Address
  4. Shipping Address (for hop delivery if different from above)
  5. Brewery Website
  6. Contact Person Name
  7. Contact Person Phone Number
  8. Contact Person Email
  9. Credit Card Type (Amex, Visa, MasterCard etc.)
  10. Credit Card Number
  11. Credit Card Security Code
  12. Credit Card Expiration Date
  13. Amount of Ahtanum, Citra and/or Simcoe Hops Needed (44 lb. increments of 1 style of hop; max of 10 boxes total of Ahtanum, Citra and/or Simcoe Hops = 440 lbs. total)
  14. Please specify what six boxes of hop varieties (Ahtanum, Citra and/or Simcoe) are most important to fulfill first. These may be the only six boxes you might receive.

Please remember the deadline for submitting your request is July 13, 2012.  If you have any questions please email us at HopsSharing@samueladams.comor call 617-368-5499. Brewers will be required to submit a sales tax exemption certificate or a similar state specific certificate to purchase the hops without paying a sales tax.

Q.        What hop variety is being released?
A.        We will be able to provide Ahtanum, Simcoe and Citra hops which are grown in Yakima, Washington. Ahtanum hops are known for their pronounced citrus and floral character balanced with spicy herbal top notes. Simcoe hops are known for their very distinct citrus, grapefruit, lime, sweet fruit and black currant notes and Citra hops are known for their citrus aroma and flavor as well as tropical fruit notes of passion fruit, lychee and peach.

Q.        Who is eligible?
A.        Brewers who have a federal brewer’s notice may request hops. During our first hop sharing program in 2008, we received more requests than we could fulfill from hundreds of brewers including home brewers and non-registered brewers. We want to ensure that existing American craft brewers are able to get the hops they need.

Q.        Are these leftover hops that the company doesn’t need?
A.        No.  These are hops that we bought in the 2011 harvest. We could certainly use them, but because we are hopeful for a good crop in 2012, we think we can share them.

Q.        Are these hops in good condition?
A.        Yes. These hops are fresh from the 2011 harvest.  They are type 90 pellets, packed in 22 pound foil bags (2 bags to 1 box), and have been kept cold and are in excellent condition. These exact hops are used in our Samuel Adams beers.

Q.        What are the alpha acids of these hops?
A.        The Ahtanum hops came in at 4.7%, Simcoe hops came in at 12.8% and the Citra hops came in at 13.4% in final analysis of the pellets.

Q.        What quantities can brewers get?
A.        These hops are pelletized and packaged in 44 pound boxes, two 22 pound bags to a box. The minimum request is for one 44 pound box of one hop type (i.e. one 44 lb. box of Ahtanum hops, one 44 lb. box of Simcoe hops or one 44 lb. box of Citra hops). Boxes cannot be split between hop types (i.e. 22 lbs. of Citra and 22 lbs. of Simcoe). The maximum amount we are making available to any one brewer is 10 boxes (440 total pounds of hops) In an effort to help as many craft brewers as we can, we will fulfill the first 6 boxes requested (264 hops total). If we receive more requests that we can fulfill, we will hold a lottery to fulfill the first 6 boxes of each request. Please specify the 6 boxes of hops that are a priority (ex. 6 boxes of Citra or 2 boxes of each hop variety). If we have extra hops available, we will add them on-top of your 6 box request.

Q.        If you need them, why are you letting them go?
A.        We buy our hops under long term contracts with select growers.  The high demand for hops has been extremely difficult for some of the very small breweries in our industry. We have contracts for 2012, 2013 and beyond for most of our varieties. When we shared hops in the 2008 program, we were betting on a reasonably strong 2009 crop.  Now, after hearing reports that this year’s crop is normal, we’re in a position to help brewers still feeling the effects of this year’s short hop supply in these varieties.

Q.        What are you charging for these hops?
A.        We will be selling them at our cost, $6.50 for Ahtanum hops, $5.50 for the Simcoe hops and $5.50 for the Citra hops, plus $0.75 per pound for shipping and handling.

Q. What form of payment do you take for the hops? When will I be billed?

A. We only take credit cards. Please be sure to provide your card type, credit card number, security code and expiration. We will discard of all of this information after we place your order and you are billed.

Q.        What is the sales tax on hops?  Who is covering that cost?
A.        Brewers are exempt from paying a sales tax on hops used to make their beers.  Brewers will be asked to provide a sales tax exemption certificate to qualify.

Q.        What will prevent the brewers who buy these hops from reselling them at a   higher price?
A.        Nothing.  We’ve asked brewers to request only what they need and to let their consciences be their guide.

Q.        When will the brewers who request the hops receive them?

A.        We anticipate shipping out to brewers at the end of July.

Q.        Are you making a profit on these hops?
A.        No.

Q.        What if you get requests for more hops than you have available?
A.        We’d like to help as many brewers as we can but may receive more requests for Ahtanum, Simcoe and Citra hops than we have available. If demand exceeds our allotted supply, we’ll conduct a lottery like we did in 2008 and fulfill the first six boxes requested by a craft brewer.

Q.        What if there isn’t enough interest to sell all the Ahtanum, Simcoe and Citra hops?
A.        We’ll keep them to use for our beers.

Q.        What is the deadline for brewers to apply? 
A.        All brewers interested in purchasing the hops must submit their request by July 13, 2012.

Q.        What should I do if I’m a brewer and have more questions that haven’t been answered?
A.        Email us at HopsSharing@samueladams.comor call 617-368-5499 and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

A Science we Enjoy: Hop-ology

You may know that each year, Jim and our brewing team make a pilgrimage to Bavaria to hand select the hops that will be used in Boston Lager. However, our curiosity and obsession with hops doesn’t end there as we’ve been experimenting with many newer varieties of late which led us to explore new and different combinations of beer styles and regional hop varieties.

In 2011, we rolled out a limited-edition Latitude 48 IPA Deconstructed pack.

Last year, we brewed a limited-edition Latitude 48 IPA Deconstructed pack, which featured two beers each featuring one of the five varieties of hops (Hallertau Mittelfrueh from Germany; East Kent Goldings from England; and Ahtanum, Simcoe, and Zeus from Washington state’s Yakima Valley).  Tasting these 5 beers side by side was a great way to experience just how much impact different varieties of hops can have on the taste of a beer.

This year, we’ve taken that exploration in different direction. Our IPA Hop-ology variety pack is a hop lovers dream. Each IPA in this package takes the wonderful hop character that is familiar and builds upon it with layers of complex flavors inspired by unique combinations of ingredients and/or fusion with other beer styles.

Hop-ology is perfect for getting together with fellow hop heads and sampling the entire line and the spectrum of flavors available in IPAs today. Brews included in IPA Hop-ology, in the order we recommend sampling:

Whitewater IPA (5.8% ABV • 60 IBUs • 14 SRM) – This hazy & flavorful brew fuses two styles with a twist of our own. We brought together the crisp wheat, citrus orange peel, and spicy coriander of a white ale with the big hoppy grapefruit notes of an IPA. Our addition of apricots brings the combination to a new level creating a slight sweetness to balance the hops.

Grumpy Monk Belgian IPA (5.7% ABV • 55 IBUs • 10 SRM) – A spirited reinvention of a Belgian tradition. To the monk’s dismay, their long held traditions can be broken. We reimagined the distinctive spicy clove & fruit notes of Belgian yeast by combining it with the brazen hoppiness of an IPA. The citrusy, piney, and earthy hops are balanced by a hint of malt sweetness for a complex & playful brew.

Latitude 48 IPA (6% ABV • 60 IBUs • 20 SRM) A unique IPA brewed with a carefully selected blend of hops from top German, English, and American growing regions all located close to the 48th latitude within the “hop belt” of the Northern Hemisphere. The intense hop character is balanced by a slight sweetness and full body from the malt blend.

Tasman Red Red IPA (6.75% ABV • 60 IBUs • 40 SRM) – Bold, lively, and a bit rugged. This wily red IPAgets its character from Tasmanian hops that are full of grapefruit, pine, and earthy notes woven throughout the taste. The hops are balanced by a core of roasty malts that provide a rich body with hints of toffee. This flavorful brew is rounded & smooth with a dry, citrusy hop finish.

This years IPA Hop-ology, a limited-release 12-pack of six different IPA styles!


Dark Depths Baltic IPA (7.6% ABV • 55 IBUs • 60 SRM) – Dark, fierce, & blustery. Across the cold and brackish Baltic, the English porter was transformed from a mild ale to a dark complex lager that confounds definition. Immersed in dark, roasted malts and a bold citrus hop character, these big contrasting flavors have the underlying smoothness of a lager for a rugged and mysterious brew.

Third Voyage Double IPA (8.5% ABV • 85 IBUs • 24 SRM) – Bright & intense with a vivid hop punch. Inspired by Capt. James Cook whose 3rd voyage made him the first to navigate a treacherous route from England to New Zealand to the Pacific Northwest. We used Cascade hops from each of these regions for a brew that’s citrusy, earthy and full of bold character.

Getting thirsty? Visit our beer finder page to locate these limited-time variety packs near you!