Nooooooooooooo! Thanks to what I can only assume are a series of global warming calamities- Australian drought, European hail storms and American heat- the world supply of hops is at an all-time low. Enter the grim arithmetic: you need hops to make beer. When you run out of hops, you run out of beer. And the existing beer gets way more expensive. As much as 10 per cent more expensive, in fact.
Conclusion: all kinds of bad news.
Apparently, brewers may have to discontinue certain kinds of beer, and look for hops alternatives to continue making others. Brian Titus, president of Halifax's Garrison Brewing Company, had this to say:
"It's bordering on disastrous actually. If you don't have hops then you don't have beer. So maybe you find something that smells similar but doesn't have the same taste profile and it doesn't have the same bitterness."
In other words, find something that tastes nothing like beer. Super duper.
Nunc Scio Labs reports that development of my own hops substitute, Faux-Hops or 'Fops', is proceeding apace. However, roll-out is being complicated by a trademark lawsuit launched by the "Mincing 17th Century Pantaloon-wearing Dandy Enthusiasts" club out of Salzburg, who claim to own the rights to the word Fop. Damn dandies.
Sweet, sweet hops. Thou art a cruel mistress.