Just wait until we learn that magically "95% of American hops are grown in Southern California, in the exact location of the recent wildfires" and prices "have" to go up again...
Oh, and there was an oil refinery kinda/sorta/almost near there, too, so gas will have to hit $5 by Christmas to keep up.
Nah, the hops are mostly grown in the pacific northwest.
I was reading some more articles on this last night, apparently another one of the problems is that the American Hops have been getting incredibly popular in Europe as well. With the Euro being so strong against the American Dollar they're having no problems overpaying to get them shipped over.
So what we've got are 3 factors killing us for this year:
1. Less American acreage for hops, due to oversupply in previous years.
2. Higher demand for American hops from the Europeans buying them up.
3. A historically horrible yield in '07 for most hop growing regions.
We can hope that next year's weather will improve and the hop yields will go back up, but it will take a couple more years for the acreage to pick back up, and I don't think the 2nd issue is going away anytime soon, either.
Like I said, it's us homebrewers that will really get screwed in this. In our case it won't be the prices that are out of whack, it will quite likely be that we cannot even get our hands on some varieties of hops.