AeroFarms Hoping To Help With The U.S.'s Beer Production

At the time of this article, the U.S. is experiencing a shortage of hops which has led to higher prices and less availability for brewers who need them for their craft beers.
AeroFarms Hoping To Help With The U.S.'s Beer Production
AeroFarms Hoping To Help With The U.S.'s Beer Production

The issue stems from an overproduction of hops in recent years and it's predicted that we'll be back at normal levels by 2021, but until then breweries are scrambling to find enough hops to make their beer. One company that might be able to help is AeroFarms (AeroFarms). They've been working with breweries like Samuel Adams and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company on supplying some of their ingredients such as Hops since they're one of the few companies with acreage dedicated solely towards growing these plants sustainably indoors using hydroponics (hydroponics). They expect to be fully operational later this year and they're hoping that their focus on sustainable practices can help give them an edge in the market.

What Is An IPA Company Exactly?

The brewery uses an abbreviation for India Pale Ale. These are the beers that have a strong, hoppy taste and usually high alcohol content too. The beer is named after British ships that were sent to India during colonialism in order to transport it back home for consumption among soldiers and colonists there.  An Indian Pale Ale (IPA) company is basically any business or organization that produces a beer with an IPA-like taste. They were originally named this because they contained high levels of hops, which acted as preservatives and helped to make the beers last longer on long trips from Britain to India during colonialism. A brewery is any business or organization that makes alcoholic beverages using yeast fermentation processes. Different kinds of fermented alcoholic beverages include beer, wine, and cider. AeroFarms hopes its hops can help with the production of these types of beers as well as others like pale ales, stouts, reds, porters, and more. AeroFarms says they will begin selling their product this year so if you see one appearing on the market take notice because chances are good it came from them!

Hydroponics & Hops

AeroFarms is currently growing their hops indoors using hydroponics, which gives them the ability to control every aspect of how they grow. This includes monitoring and tweaking variables such as temperature, humidity, and nutrient levels in the water (nutrient solution). They're able to do this because of a computer system called "The PLC" (Programmable Logic Controller) that monitors many aspects of the farm's environment at once. Since we know what conditions these plants need to be healthy and produce well, we can ensure that they get just that while also saving energy costs by not having lights on when it isn't necessary for photosynthesis.

Why AeroFarms Is A Good Candidate To Supply Brewing Companies

Since 2015 there has been an increase in demand for hops that have lowered the availability and raised prices. The U.S.'s current output is just a third of what it used to be since brewers have been hopping across the pond, so to speak, looking elsewhere for their ingredients. Countries like Germany are producing more than ever which makes it difficult for breweries here at home who want high-quality domestically sourced ingredients (locally produced). In order to get enough supply from somewhere, there need to either be new growers or increased yield per acre which can come with its own set of challenges such as weather patterns and pest infestations both of which you cannot control indoors using hydroponics. With almost 60% market share worldwide AeroFarms would certainly be able to help many companies continue production without any disruption.

What Does This Mean For The Food Industry

The potential for growth in the hydroponics industry is large and many companies are already taking notice. AeroFarms has several competitors who've also entered into this market (New Age Farms, Green Sense Farms) but they're still not enough to meet demand which could be good news for them as it'll give them time to scale up their operations before others catch on. As more growers enter this space we should see a decrease in the cost of production since economies of scale would allow us to produce more efficiently than ever before with less waste per harvest making our prices competitive with those overseas without sacrificing quality.

What Other Industries Can Benefit From Hydroponic Growing

There are numerous other industries that can benefit from using hydroponics instead of traditional soil-based growing. Examples include vertical farming (vertical gardening) where we build upwards instead of outwards to save space and indoor cannabis cultivation which is becoming more popular as laws become more lenient in some states such as California, Colorado, and Washington. Soil-based growing is quickly becoming a thing of the past as we'll be shifting towards indoor farming to produce more food in less space with fewer resources.

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