Ah, supply and demand. With America's appetite for non-watery beers on the rise — no, I'm not talking about you, weird tequila-flavored beer — the price of aroma hops has doubled in the past year, according to a Financial Times report. And as Matthew Yglesias notes over at Vox, the explosive growth of craft breweries is largely driving that trend.
But there are a few more factors at play worth spotlighting.
For one, commercial hops are predominantly grown in only a few regions — Germany and the Pacific Northwest, for the most part — so they're susceptible to weather-related shortages. For instance, bad weather in 2007 and 2008 wiped out European crops and caused a major global shortage, and thus a price spike.
Shifting taste trends have also required growers to basically start their crops from scratch, planting new strains to meet the current demand. With pungent IPAs all the rage lately, growers had to replace varieties that once were in vogue with, say, the Centennial hops used in some of the best beers on the planet. Meaning, it's not just that craft breweries are opening too fast for hop growers to keep pace, but also that the hops brewers crave have been relatively scarce. It doesn't help that aroma hops are more fickle, and harder to grow, than the bittering hops they're replacing.
There was Fox's Megyn Kelly: "Fox News has projected that Donald Trump has won the New Hampshire primary on the Republican side. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sandals."
Her mistake may be a good campaign tactic when the weather gets warmer:
"Sanders, Sandals — it could catch on in the summer months — he has bested Hillary Clinton," Kelly said, laughing.
MSNBC's Chris Hayes topped her with an even more creative Sanders flub.
"You see that in both Trump's particularly closing message and railing against pharmaceutical companies and the like, and Bernie Sandwiches' — Sanders' — message from the beginning," he said.
We'll accept this excuse. Julie Kliegman
In my defense I was literally watching people being served dinner when I said #BernieSandwiches
— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) February 10, 2016
'Dawn of the Brain Dead': New York Daily News rips New Hampshire's 'mindless zombies' for backing Trump
The New York Daily News paid homage to horror movie classic Dawn of the Dead Wednesday. Their rendition, however, entitled "Dawn of the Brain Dead," depicts New Hampshire primary winner Donald Trump as the cult leader of a "mindless" mass:
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) February 10, 2016
After declaring Trump a "dead clown walking" earlier this month after his second-place finish in the Iowa caucuses, the Daily News' latest cover surmises that this win has brought the "clown" "back to life."
HBO talk show host Bill Maher has endorsed Bernie Sanders for president. He likes Hillary Clinton, but "we've never had a leftist in my lifetime, a true leftist," he told Jimmy Kimmel on Tuesday's Kimmel Live. Sanders is "putting things on the table no one ever put on the table before." That doesn't mean Maher thinks Sanders will win, but he argued that the Vermont senator has earned the benefit of the doubt. "Now, is he probably going to win in the South? Probably not — he's a socialist Jew who's 100," he said. "But you know what? People have never seen this product before. People didn't know they wanted an iPhone until they put it in the window, and everybody bought it."
If Sanders doesn't win, "if we go back to the old rules, fine," Maher said. He's told his audience that he's for Bernie, "but Hillary's good, too. It's like if you're on a plane — if you don't get your first choice, eat the chicken." That may not seem like a rousing plug for No. 2, but when Kimmel asked, Maher made it clear he doesn't like any of the Republicans. You can watch him name and mock his least-favorite Republican candidate, and make his case for Sanders, below. Peter Weber
Seth Meyers checks in on 'pharma bro' Martin Shkreli, finds he's just the tip of a price-gouging iceberg
Martin Shkreli, the widely despised former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, infamous for raising the price of a life-saving drug by 5,000 percent, was called to testify before Congress last week. But instead of answering questions, Seth Meyers said on Tuesday's Late Night, "he spent the time doing what he does best: looking like a real slappable prick." Meyers illustrated his point with some footage of Shkreli invoking his Fifth Amendment right instead of answering even the most mundane questions.
As fun as it is to make fun of Shkreli, though, he's "not alone," Meyers said. "He's just doing what a lot of pharmaceutical companies already do, except he's being loud and conniving about it while they're being secretive and conniving about it." In fact, Shkreli is "just a convenient, deserving scapegoat" for the price-gouging of Americans by the drug industry, Meyers said, aided by Congress' decision to prevent the U.S. government from negotiating the price of drugs, like almost every other country does. Case in point, a company called Valeant bought two heart drugs just last year and immediately raised the price 525 percent and 212 percent, Meyers said, but "Valeant didn't cause nearly as much outrage as Shkreli did because they don't have a smug, irritating face; they have a soothing logo." Watch Meyers' "closer look" at Shkreli and the unsavory behavior he exposed below. Peter Weber
It was just his second time outside, but Bei Bei was ready for an adventure. On Monday, the panda cub born last summer at the Smithsonian's National Zoo climbed a tree for the first time, but was hesitant when it came time to climb back down. Luckily, his doting mother, Mei Xiang, was there to gently give him some assistance. Watch the sweet video below. Catherine Garcia
Jim Gilmore has a theory as to why he's virtually unknown among the Republican presidential candidates.
"I entered the race having been out of office for a considerable amount of time," he told USA Today. "I wasn't a sitting governor, my father wasn't president, and my brother wasn't president." Gilmore, the former governor of Virginia, was upbeat at his primary party in New Hampshire on Tuesday, attended by less than a dozen people. "I don't think we'll win this thing," he told one supporter, "but let's see if we can get some recognition."
With 88 percent of precincts reporting, Gilmore received 125 votes, or 0.0 percent. It was, however, a major victory compared to how he did in Iowa, where he was backed by just 12 caucusgoers, and Gilmore said he's looking forward to campaigning in South Carolina on Wednesday. New Hampshire state senator Sam Cataldo told USA Today Gilmore has a "hell of a background," but is practically invsible because "the media keeps playing Trump, Trump, and Trump. There's more to life than just Trump." Catherine Garcia
On Monday, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg confirmed that he's considering an independent run for president this year, telling the Financial Times that he finds "the level of discourse and discussion distressingly banal and an outrage and an insult to the voters." He'll decide soon, he said, and is "listening to what candidates are saying and what the primary voters appear to be doing." That's widely considered code for Bloomberg waiting to see if Donald Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are likely to win the Republican and Democratic nominations, respectively.
Both Trump and Sanders notched solid victories in New Hampshire on Tuesday night. And a potential Trump-Sanders race is "a dream scenario for those — most notably Bloomberg himself — who dream of a real chance for the former mayor," says Chris Cillizza at The Washington Post. "I wouldn't fall down dead if later this week 'a Bloomberg insider' leaked either polling numbers or some sort of internal memo designed to stoke the fires for the former mayor’s independent bid." Since a Bloomberg run would probably ensure a Republican win in 2016, maybe this should be scored as two wins for Trump. Peter Weber