One of the things we like about Flying Dog drinkers is that you like to voice your opinion and aren’t afraid to ask questions. One of the questions that has been raised recently is, “Why does my Flying Dog beer cost more all of the sudden?”
Good question and I’ll try to answer it as best I can.
First, I’d like to first emphasize that although we have some degree of control over our pricing, but some of it depends on the independent distributor’s margin requirements and the retail/tax structure of a given state. With that being the case, a price increase in one state could translate to $0.50 per case more per sixer, while in another it could be $2, even though we gave similar price increases to all of our distributors. We structured our price increases to translate to $0.50-$1 more per 6-pack, but distributors and retailers are independent businesses and legally we have no control over their pricing.
OK, now to the meat of the question. In the past 6 months, the price of malt and hops has increased dramatically worldwide and this is impacting ALL BREWERS GLOBALLY. Because we, and most other craft brewers use more malt and hops in their beers relative to the bland, mass produced lagers, these prices have had a greater impact on brewers of flavorful beers. In a nutshell it breaks down like this:
- Crop failures due to weather conditions in major growing regions in the world (Australia’s 5 year drought, Europe’s rains last Summer) have reduced the supply of available brewing barley.
- The price of malt has been so low that malting companies have been hesitant to build new plants, thus demand is currently outstripping supply (this is similar to why gas is so expensive in US. Yes, some of it is the price of crude, but much of it is due to no new refineries having been built in US for last 20 years).
- Agricultural commodities are going up in general due to global demand and low value of US dollar.
- Biofuel demand is driving up the price of all grains.
- Unfortunately, we don’t see this getting better anytime soon as the dollar is going to stay low, emerging nations will continue to adopt the western, grain based diet more and more, malting capacity will take years to be developed and to top it off Australia just had another horrible harvest.
Really, the only reason here is that there has been a global glut for decades, keeping prices so low that farmers have planted other crops or sold their farms. In the last 20 years global hop acreage planted has fallen 50%, while beer consumption continues to go up. Demand has finally outstripped supply, and this has been exacerbated by crop failures in the last couple of years. The hop prices should settle down in the next couple of years, although they won’t go back down to levels their previous levels.
Being a craft brewer who uses a large amount of both malt and hops in all of our beers, the price increases have dramatically affected how we manage our business and posed a difficult decision: Change recipes or raise prices?
We chose the latter because we believe in our beer and we believe that even with the recent prices increases, Flying Dog and many other craft beers remain to be a good bargain in the adult beverage industry. When compared to a good bottle of wine on a per ounce basis, the price of our beer is still quite reasonable.
We understand that this is a significant price increase and may not make sense on the surface to the end consumer, but it was a necessary move for us to merely stay in business. By no means was it a decision driven by greed. Craft brewers need your support now more than ever if you value full
I hope this has answered some of your questions. For more information on the rising cost of malt and hops and how it is affecting the craft beer industry, I invite your you to a couple news articles that will give you a 3rd party perspective:
[tags]flying dog, brewery, craft beer, pricing, increases[/tags]
As much as it hurts to say this, I have to acknowledge that Chris Rippe has won the the Flying Dog college basketball pool for the 3rd straight year. And yes, I write this post before the championship game tip-off tonight. It doesn’t even matter who wins, Rippe takes first place.
Congrats, Rippe. You have demonstrated your roundball knowledge. Well done, sir. It doesn’t make up for your spelling skills, but you do know your college basketball.
[tags]chris rippe, flying dog, brewery, beer[/tags]
Any man who claims he was destined to own a brewery – since his first sip of beer at age 12 – and follows it up by starting a brewery that has grown into a fixture of the craft beer landscape has my respect. A lifelong educator, philanthropist and entrepreneur, George Stranahan built Flying Dog Brewery to reflect a culture and product that match his own ideals. Beer mixed with art, with a little irreverence thrown in. You’ll never see George speaking at industry seminars or writing books about food and beer pairings. He chooses to sit and enjoy our world class ales on his Woody Creek, Colorado ranch in peace and lets the beer do the talking for him. Check out the video below to get to know George a bit better and learn the origins of Flying Dog Brewery.
Cheers to you George!
[tags]George Stranahan, beer, craft beer, flying dog, The Session, beer people[/tags]
Despite all our shenanigans here at Flying Dog we our proud to boast what we think is one of the most experienced and decorated brew teams in the craft beer industry. We wanted to give a little well deserved credit to the guys who keep us making Good Beer, No Shit. With CEO Eric Warner, Executive Brewer Matt Brophy and Head Brewer Bob Malone in charge of our operations there is little doubt we will continue to reign supreme for years to come. Below is a modest list of only a few of their accomplishments.
– Combined over 40 years of brewing experience, over a dozen Great American Beer Festival medals and 5 World Beer Cup medals.
Eric Warner – Lead Dog
– Graduated from the Technical University of Munich at Weihenstephan in 1990 and today is still one of only a handful of Americans to complete the program.
– Authored a book on German-style wheat beer that was published in 1992.
– In 1993, he co-founded Tabernash Brewing Company in Denver, known for its award-winning German-style beers.
– Joined the Flying Dog team in 1997 starting as the VP of Operations and was quickly promoted to Lead Dog (CEO) in 1999.
Matt Brophy – Executive Brewer
– Started brewing at 17 in high school after hearing Charlie Papazian on “Radio Times” an NPR radio show including winning 2nd place in a homebrew competition (for a Pilsner) before being old enough to drink beer.
– 1997 graduate of the Siebel Institute of Brewing Technology in Chicago, IL
– Head Brewer for Great Divide Brewing Company in Denver, CO
– Head Brewer for Great Northern Tavern in Keystone, CO
– Currently Flying Dog’s Executive Brewer
Bob Malone – Head Brewer
– 1995 graduate of the Siebel Institute of Brewing Technology in Chicago, IL
– 2000 Associate Member of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling
– Head Brewer for Star Brewing Company
– Head Brewer for Echigo Brewing Company
– Head Brewer for Back Country Brewing Company
– Head Brewer for Big Buck Brewing Company
– Head Brewery for Copper Canyon Brewing Company
– Head Brewer for Flying Dog Brewery
Our new Spring Seasonal, Garde Dog is getting some great reviews from our fellow beer bloggers. Here are some of our favorites so far:
One of the comments we’re hearing a lot is that this is a great beer for beer drinkers new to craft beer – not too malty, not too hoppy. So, if you have someone you’re trying to “show the light” of drinking better beer, Garde Dog might be your answer.
[tags]garde dog, beer, craft beer, flying dog, reviews, beer[/tags]
We’re taking this bitch international. To help us do that, we’re advertising in some beer magazines this year. We’re talking hot shot craft beer publications like DRAFT Magazine, BeerAdvocate and All About Beer.
Here’s a look at our ads you’ll be seeing in 2008.
[tags]flying dog, beer, brewery, canis major, craft beer, advertising, beer advocate[/tags]
This past weekend, Flying Dog Brewery helped Mod Livin’ (a very cool mid-century furniture shop on Colfax in Denver) raise almost $8000 for the Downtown Animal Care Foundation at their 2nd Annual Best in Show event.
This is a really cool event where local businesses and artists create works of art out of blank, dog-shaped molds. Good karma for you if you bought a dog, and the best part, it’s a tax write off.
Pegasus News reviews the new Hunter S. Thompson Bio Pic, Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson.
So far, the movie seems to be making the rounds of the independent film festivals, debuting earlier at Sundance earlier this year. No mass release information is available as of yet, but since the Executive Producer was Mark Cuban/HDNet, we expect it to be on airing on the channel in the near future.
Click here, for an inside look at the movie via YouTube.
The fine folks from Hunterdon Distributing took a little road trip down to Frederick, MD last week to see our new, state-of-the-art brewery, sample some of our new brews and take a run through “The Gauntlet” (Market Street Pub Crawl).
Our very own Chris Rippe was looking forward to entertaining the Hunterdon Crew for a night and was talking a pretty big game before they got there. He kept spouting off about how he was going “show them how it’s done.” But it might have been Hunterdon who got the best of Rippe. As it turns out, it was RIPPE who was passed out at the bar at the end of the night.
We thank everyone from Hunterdon who came down for a visit and we hope you can come back soon. We promise Rippe will be put down for a nap before the festivities next time.
[tags]Flying Dog, Hunterdon, Distributing, beer, craft, frederick, maryland[/tags]