Small British brewers face higher hop prices as the US craft-beer movement continues to grow.

Increased demand has already pushed up prices of US aromatic hops, and they are set to rise further over the next three years as an expected 500 new US craft breweries go into production. This has led to panic buying on the ‘spot’ market, pushing the price up further, according to UK hop merchant Charles Faram.

Smaller breweries were more exposed to price fluctuations, as they were less likely to have long-term contracts. “They think they can get the hops they need on the spot market, but those days are gone,” he added.

Supply pressure could benefit other hop producing areas such as New Zealand and Slovenia, added Mintel global drinks analyst Jonny Forsyth.