Rain on the Plain Spurns Barley Worries

August rain in Idaho and Montana has brewers a bit worried. Late season heavy rains have caused “major” sprout damage which is driving up the price.

“Most maltsters would have already contracted for the 2014 harvest, so by extension breweries that signed malt contracts will have locked in their price for this year and won’t be affected by that,” said Peter Hoey, technical sales manager for Brewers Supply Group (BSG) said.

Quality however is another matter. “Canada is somewhat above the fray but we will still see lower extracts and higher proteins than last year,” Peter explained.

Much of the regions barley crop was harvested or close to harvest and in good condition when heavy rains saturated the crop causing early germination.

And although contracts should fend off significant price increases this year, 2015 may see higher prices due to the heavy rains.