Brewers braced for soaring costs in 2007

Poor harvests for hops and barley, together with mounting energy bills, are set to significantly increase cost pressures on all brewers this year.

“It wasn’t a good barley harvest in the UK [in 2006] because conditions were too extreme. We had an exceptionally hot summer, which led to shortages of water, and the winter crop suffered from excessive frost.”

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The Financial Times reported the chief executive of the world’s fourth largest brewer, Jean-Francois van Box-meer, as saying that after a “disastrous Australian harvest, the market is almost dry of barley at this point”, adding that prices had also risen for aluminium, which it used for packaging.

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