Russian brewers will face serious problems in the summer when their hop supplies run out, the Russian Union of Brewers said in a letter seen by Kommersant.
So far, Russia imports 98% of the 7,000–7,500 tons they use every year. Most of their hop supply comes from Germany, the Czech Republic and the United States which have imposed economic sanctions on Russia. The only noticeable alternative source of hops is China which will not be sufficient to fill the gaps.
Therefore Russian brewers have asked the agriculture ministry to help them find ways to replace imported hops. However, it will take years to establish an own hop industry since the entire infrastructure has to be set up and the hop plants need a few years to bring their full yield.
The Association of Russian Hops Producers estimates that the state needs to pay more than RUB 500 million (USD 6.4 m) in annual subsidies for the next 3-5 years to increase production to 1,000 tons by 2030, the newspaper said.
This won’t help in the short term and alternatives for hops in beer are not available.