Extending Available Crop Years

I would like to propose that the selectable crop years be extended to up to 5 years when listing hops to sell. Many varieties, especially hops with good HSI, are still perfectly fine to use if they have been properly stored.


Hi Corey!

Thanks for the suggestion! Since I’m not a brewer I wanted to hear your thoughts about this…

If we were to allow older hops to be listed on the site, would you expect that we only do that for hops that do store longer, or would you expect us to allow older hops across the board? Should we only allow older hops when they have been stored at a broker for their entire life?

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I would suggest that the older crop years be available for all varieties and let the brewers purchasing the hops decide if they feel their needs would be met. I’ve negotiated sales of aging inventories outside of LEx before and found that customers were more than happy as the price point on older crops are much lower for what is still a beneficial product. Other requests can be made on a case by case basis such as an Alpha analytics to determine what degradation if any has occurred. To your last question, I don’t think it is necessary to limit the posting if LEx members are agreeing that the product has been stored properly when they post the listing.

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Hey Corey,

Thanks for your post. The crop year limits were originally applied to help ensure buyers were always getting fresh hops and to prevent the overcrowding of The Exchange with aging product…but I’m not convinced that we made the right decision there.

I agree with you that we should expand the available crop years, as there seems to be increasing demand for aged hops (ie sour beers) and ultimately it’s probably best to just provide all of the information and let brewers make their own decisions. That being said, I’d like to hear from more members of the LEx community before pulling the trigger on any changes, as we really want decisions like this to be driven by consensus from the community.

If you’re reading this, please chime in with your comments or by simply clicking the heart icon on Corey’s original post if you agree. Thanks!

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I’d say let buyers decide. If sellers want to post them, and buyers want to buy, it’s up to the buyers. Smaller breweries might find really good hops for extremely good prices that way. You just don’t know. I think we can all agree that sellers won’t be able to sell a 2012 crop for a very strong price. It might even be beneficial to develop an auction style option.

The auction concept to me sounds good as we can all agree we are looking at a glut, yet prices aren’t dropping too much. The auction allows buyers to set the price rather than seller which could help move older hops faster.

I agree, however it should be clearly noted that the alpha/beta numbers will not be accurate. Really the only way to be certain of that is have them tested.

I think it would be a good idea to allow older hops to be listed. Perhaps there could be a default option similar to the current one that limits searches to only a certain range of crop years.

I agree that older crops could be listed.

A couple of years ago I took the deluxe tour at one of the AB Inbev megafacilities and part of that tour involved a look at the hops warehouse. I was amazed to see crates and crates of hops that were three and four years old. Their recipes were all automated and it seemed like they had built in the HSI calcs to accommodate the age of the hops. As a new grower at the time, my takeaway was that it is still a viable product and that you can manage the recipe as long as you can get accurate vitals.

I’m not sure how far the exchange could go on providing the data, but I know that the lab we use (Virginia Tech) can test for essentials and HSI, so if we were considering an older lot we could manage the recipe.

Yes. let people sell what they have. Let the market decide if they’re worth of being purchased…

The crop year is listed, so the purchaser is aware of it. Let them buy it if they want. Some others were concerned a buyer may haphazardly purchase old hops when not intended. I say that’s their problem for not paying attention. As a possible precaution against this, perhaps hops past a certain year could have a special designation beyond the crop year in the listing - a different color, symbol or checkbox to indicate older hops - or completely separate section for listing.

Yes! As a brewery, unloading last years crop or prior year’s crops on LupEx is a vital. Buyer is aware of crop year date.

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Buyer is aware of what they are buying correct? I don’t see a problem with it if buyer is ok with it.

I’d say if someone wants to buy older hops for whatever reason, let them.

As long as the year, condition, history of storage etc… is clearly stated.

I would support listing older crop years, however, I think that perhaps the presentation or listing should put hops more than three years old as a second part of each hop listing so those looking for fresh hops will be at the top of the listing and those looking for reduced price hops can look at the older hops. Do not co mingle them in the overall listing. As an example, I have a case of 2014 Galaxys in good shape that I am sure someone would love to get as a lower price.

So long as the buyer know what crop year they are purchasing, I see now issue with posting older harvests. Perhaps put a disclaimer that as hops age, the AA% may no longer be accurate?

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Thanks for everyone’s feedback! Quick update on this topic - LEx has added the 2012, 2013 and 2014 crop years to the dropdown on the listing page. You can read all about it here!

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