Which Raw Materials Are Most Popular With Brewers?

Top Craft Beer Hops, Grains & Other Ingredients

Working with nearly 2,000 brewers, Ekos has access to a vast database of real-time production data, and we want to share that information with the brewing community. We’ve recently begun digging through the more than half a million batches that ran through Ekos last year to provide benchmarking data on the most commonly packaged beer styles, average cost per barrel, and production metrics. We hope this information can help craft brewers compare their business models and performance, stay on top of production trends, and find inspiration for future production planning.

Here’s a sneak peek at what we found in the raw materials category.

What Is the Most Commonly Used Grain for Beer?

Top five fermentable ingredients tracked in Ekos brewery management software in 2021

It will come as no surprise to craft brewers that barley is the top fermented grain tracked in Ekos, but the actual amount (115 million pounds!) is impressive. We also noted that the vast majority of that barley was two-row malted barley, commonly considered the most popular variety among brewers. When it comes to the rest of the top five grains, wheat (24 million pounds) and oats (11.9 million pounds) fell in the middle of the pack, and crystal/caramel malt (3.6 million pounds) and rice (2.2 million pounds) followed.

Here are a few more fermentable items brewers tracked in our system last year:

  • Corn: 968,000 pounds
  • Dark malt: 947,000 pounds
  • Rye: 670,000 pounds
  • Roasted malt: 493,000 pounds

Most Popular Beer Hops

Top 10 beer hop varieties tracked in Ekos in 2021

Hops — and which ones are the best — can be a heated topic in the brewing community, and we wondered which ones pop up most frequently in Ekos. With more than 11.5 million pounds of hops tracked in Ekos last year, we have a lot of data to work with! While some hop reports gather information through self-reported surveys or hop harvest numbers, we used the real-time production data in our system to find which varieties were actually purchased and tracked throughout the year. Here’s what we found.

Top 10 Hop Varieties

  1. Citra: 1,962,725 pounds
  2. Mosaic: 1,304,943 pounds
  3. Simcoe: 830,236 pounds
  4. Cascade: 616,259 pounds
  5. Centennial: 444,398 pounds
  6. Amarillo: 444,205 pounds
  7. Chinook: 292,078 pounds
  8. El Dorado: 291,508 pounds
  9. Columbus: 275,830 pounds
  10. Saaz: 249,588 pounds 

Want More Craft Beer Production Stats & Benchmarks?

We hear you. We’re currently researching how we can harness the information in Ekos to help craft brewers understand their production trends and business metrics by comparing them to industry benchmarks. Once we’ve collected and organized the data, we’ll release a full report on the results. Let us know what kinds of information would be most useful to you and get on the list to receive your copy when it’s ready!

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Written by Becca