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Friday, November 02, 2007

By This Measure, Hops Aren't So Expensive

I would like to draw your attention not so much to this post as the accompanying picture--a jpeg of an 1892 New York Times article. It reads in part:
Hops varied in price in 1882 from 20 cents per pound to $1.25 per pound. Since then, there have been variations within a single year from 50 cents to 10 cents, from 40 cents to 9 cents, and from 35 cents to 8 cents.

The hop year begins in September. In August last the price was 12 cents. The year started with the price at 13 cents, since which time it has steadily advanced.
A buck and a quarter in 1882? That's a lotta Mittelfrüh! Adjusting for inflation, that would work out to over $25 a pound in 2006 dollars. On the other hand, 9 cents was pretty good--just $1.81. Still, if you figure the average price was around a quarter in the 1880s, that would work out to $5.41 in today's dollar--roughly the place the price will probably end up stabilizing in the next five years.

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