The following is the most recent results from the survey as presented at the Two Rivers Food Hub Hops Growing Workshop – March 21, 2015
2016 Eastern Ontario Hops Survey
Green’s Creek Farm
Christopher Kelly-Bisson & Jordan Bouchard
Est. Regional Value: $1,279,200
Est. Regional Quant.: 88,221 lbs
Avg. Value/Brewery*: $12,175
Avg. Quant/Brewery*: 2,705 lbs
Desired Format: Pelletized (100%)
The 2016 Eastern Ontario Hops Survey was conducted in order to better understand the magnitude of Eastern Ontario’s hops consumption, specify what varieties and formats are in demand, and note what supplier qualities and relationship structures are desired. This was done in advance of planning the construction of the Green’s Creek Farm hop yard operation. This study was conducted in conjunction with Just Food Ottawa, the Two Rivers Food Hub, and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).
The study surveyed the field of craft breweries in Eastern Ontario (OMAFRA regional definition) identifying a population of fifty-six operations ranging in different sizes and stages of development. Twelve craft breweries responded capturing 21.3% of the number of operations. The sample was able capture an estimated 44.5% of the hops consumed in the region, which is the result of our focus on the largest craft breweries. This survey cannot be used to accurately generalize hops consumption in Eastern Ontario, however our methodology permits us to understand several notable characteristics of demand in the region for the consideration of any prospective hops grower.
The total value of hops consumption captured in the survey was $597,400.00, the vast majority ($500k) of which represents consumption from Beau’s All Natural Brewing. This value can be extrapolated to suggest that $1,279,200 worth of hops is consumed by Eastern Ontario craft breweries per year. The quantity of hops consumed as reported in the survey was too inconsistent to generalize, however using an average hops price of $14.5 per pound, this survey estimates that 88,220.69 lbs of hops are consumed yearly among Eastern Ontario craft breweries.
The survey was able to generalize the preferences of craft breweries in Eastern Ontario. Breweries spend an estimated average of $12,175 on hops per year, or 2,705 lbs of hops per year. Casscade hops is by far the most commonly consumed variety, which corresponds with Pale Ales, IPAs, and APAs being the most commonly brewed beers. Almost all breweries indicated that they only use pelleted hops, though all breweries indicated that they prefer pelleted hops. Only a quarter of survey breweries indicated that they have sourced hops grown within Eastern Ontario, which is most commonly Chinook and Casscade varieties. No breweries, besides Beau’s All Natural Brewing, indicated that they use certified organic hops.
Qualities Preferred by Breweries in Hops Sources:
Respondents to the survey were asked to give their preference on a number of qualities in a hops supplier. Most notably, all breweries indicated that the quality of their hops is the greatest priority, with competitive pricing following close behind. Consistency of supply was indicated as desired but not essential, likely given the availability of hops from national and international sources to supplement supply gaps. Development of a local hops culture, diversity of varieties, and large quantities of production were indicated as desired but less important. Breweries indicated that local sourcing and specialty production practices (i.e. organic, biodynamic, etc.) were least desired qualities though not unimportant.
Brewery Relationship with Supplier:
Breweries indicated a preference for one-time purchases from their hops suppliers, followed by yearly contracts and single batches (i.e. seasonal beer). Breweries are less interested in multi-year contracts or more permanent forms of integration.
When asked if a brewery would engage in some format of sponsorship (i.e. signing a contract promising to purchase when hops when available) 70% indicated that they would. Only Beau’s All Natural Brewing indicated that they could offer investment with such sponsorship.
Eastern Ontario Craft Brewery Contact Information
We have compiled a listing of Eastern Ontario craft breweries and their contact information for the use of prospective new hops growers. We share this information free of charge, however for the purpose of collecting statistical information on interest in growing hops we ask that you contact us at email@example.com to request a copy.
We Are Still Looking for Brewery Input
Green’s Creek Farm is currently exploring commercial opportunities for the production of hops for craft breweries in the region.
In order to better understand what expected demand for hops might be over the next few years we are conducting a market survey on hops usage among regional breweries.
If you are the owner of an Eastern Ontario craft brewery we would like to hear from you!
Click HERE to take our survey.