Barley Crop Damaged

A severe hailstorm in south central Colorado earlier this month wiped out part of the barley crop that MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch use to brew beer.

A MillerCoors spokesman said the Aug. 16 storm that battered the San Luis Valley would not affect its beer production or prices. An Anheuser-Busch spokesman declined to comment beyond a written statement.

The storm, the worst in recent memory, caused an estimated $42.4 million in crop damage in the worst-hit areas of Saguache County, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency. About 10% of the crop in that area was lost, which represents about 3% of the total overall barely used by MillerCoors. MillerCoors also buys malting barley from hundreds of growers in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.

The hailstorm hit an estimated 28,640 acres of crops in the worst affected areas of Saguache County, according to the Farm Service Agency.