S.S. Steiner Inc., one of the four largest hop providers in the
Yakima Valley, called the fire department in the early morning on
Monday, October 2nd. Fire crews arrived quickly and tore down the
warehouse’s metal siding and began dousing the flames. In all, seven
fire crews were needed to put out the fire. The rapid response and
great effort of the firemen was admirable, however the entire crop was
lost in the blaze.
Total damage, in terms of loss of crops, has been estimated by S.S.
Steiner Inc. as being between $3.5 - $4 million. Throw in the loss of
the warehouse building and production equipment inside, and S.S.
Steiner Inc. may have lost as much as $5 million in the fire.
Experts say the impact on the American beer industry cannot yet be
determined. S.S. Steiner Inc. has yet to release the type of hops
that were burnt in the fire. Given certain markets of specific brews,
the loss could be very serious for many companies. If the hops burnt
in the fire were already in short supply, the fire may drive up costs.
S.S. Steiner Inc. has said the fire will not be catastrophic for
their company. They have multiple warehouses throughout the state
of Washington. Although a substantial blow to the hop provider,
spokesman for the company said they will bounce back.