29 May 2009
Sent: Wednesday, May 27, 2009 7:02 AMSubject: Hallartau Hop Fields Almost Completely Destroyed
Last Monday night until Tuesday morning massive thunderstorms sweptover North-Western Europe. They were joined by serious hail fall.These storms caused a lot of damage and threw traffic into turmoil.But the most sad result of these storms is that it looks like most ofHallertau Hop fields have been completely wiped away. Staff ofBayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephaner, who live throughout thearea, have all reported the complete destruction of hop fields in the region.
As I soon as I get pictures of the damage done I will send them over,but eye witnesses say it's worse than what they have ever seen intheir lives. Storms have caused damage before, but never of thismagnitude. It also seems to be too late to start a second try atgrowing new plants – generally the hop harvest in Hallertau starts midto late August.
What this may mean for your and our industry is pretty clear. Let'spray the first damage estimates prove pessimistic, and that some ofthe harvest and plants could be saved. But for now, the situationseems serious enough so prepare yourselves brewers.
Rick Kempen, Export Manager
Amsterdam, The Netherlands