Catastrophe!

A warehouse fire earlier this week in Yakima, Washington, destroyed 4 percent of the United State’s supply of hops, a key ingredient in making beer. The fire destroyed or ruined about 10,000 bales, each weighing about 200 pounds. An industry official put the estimated loss at between $3.5 and $4 million. ATF investigators ruled that the fire was accidental, saying a bale of hops in the southeast corner of the S.S. Steiner Warehouse spontaneously combusted.

I’d pour a Cold One out in remembrance, but that’s probably not a good idea until we know how the market responds.

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