Global hop marketA local alternative to mass beer suggested by independent brewers has been successful and is now altering the global market. Beer is becoming more diversified, so transnational companies have to accept the new game rules and to switch focus to young and fast growing markets. All these processes increased the demand for aroma and bitter hop as well as their acreage expansion on two continents. However now there appeared a downward trend of alcohol consumption in the world, so even special sorts can soon turn to be sufficient. In this connection the dynamic American hop market is already facing some problems. EU hop producers have become more cautious, they are not racing to exceed the demand and look forward with more confidence, judging by the contract terms.
Hop Market in RussiaGermany still dominates the Russian market, yet over the recent two years one has been able observe a continuous success of Czech hop suppliers. Their expansion and growing popularity of hops from the United States became the drivers of supplies growth in 2016 despite the preceding modest harvest crop in the EU, as well as the factor of relative stability in 2017. In this connection, in 2017, the ratio of the varieties continued to shift towards the aroma ones, and the supplies of Magnum hop and other alpha varieties were reduced. However, the import of bitter hop pellets is partially replaced by extracts, especially from the major beer manufacturers. Total volumes of alpha acid supplies, according to our estimation, decreased by approximately 5% and returned to the level of 2015. Barth Haas Group continues dominating the hop products market; HVG also increased its weight. At the same time, Morris Hanbury significantly reduced the supplies in 2017.
10+1 trends of Russian beer market 2015-2017Despite of the moderately negative prognoses for 2017, the beer market can be stabilized soon. Yet the years of the negative dynamics have resulted in marketing being limited just to “optimization” and the art of balancing between price and volumes. Bigger supermarkets share means stronger trade marketing. These processes are connected to the majority of the described trends. At the same time, the federal brands inflation leads to searching for new tastes, sales channels and contact formats that expand the product range and diversify the beer market, but do not imply a substantial volume increase. Let us enumerate and further discuss the ten trends of the beer market we can see in 2015-2017 as well as the major event of 2017.
Beer market of Ukraine 2017In the first half of 2017, the Ukrainian beer market goes on decreasing slowly. Yet, the companies manage to compensate their lost volumes by raising prices and improving the sales structures. This results in the mid price market segment reduction while the sales of premium brands are rising. These processes are connected to position strengthening of companies Carlsberg Group and Oasis and the market share reduction of Obolon. Most of the novelties by the market leaders belong to craft or hard lemon categories.
Beer market of Russia 2016: PET goes to draftThe beer market of Russia was warmed up by the hot summer, but the preparation for large volume PET prohibition has already impacted it negatively. The year was successful for Efes, MBC and regional producers; Carlsberg’s positions were virtually stable but AB InBev and Heineken lost a part of market share having focused on the sales profitability. The dynamics of big brands was determined by how much the companies were willing to keep the prices down or by their promotional activity. In this context the economy segment of the beer market and sales of inexpensive draft beer were increasing. The premium segment started shrinking due to license brands migrating to the mainstream segment.
US. Sierra Nevada Brewing is a true innovator
For me, the movement begins with Anchor but is defined by the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., which celebrated its 30th anniversary in November 2010.
For those of us who were drinking such beers in the mid- to late '80s, the craft beer universe looks a lot different now. So many brands that were big then are either gone, plodding along or figuring out how to be relevant again.
I remember back in the day when I would walk into a package store and have to pick from Dock Street, Oldenberg, Pete's Wicked Ale, a Samuel Adams Lager, or a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. There might be a Red Hook.
Now look at what we have to choose from. The Brewforia Beer Market in Meridian carries 600 different craft beers to chose from.
When Ken Grossman opened Sierra Nevada for business in 1980, there were about 50 breweries in the United States.
At the time of the company's 30th birthday in November, there were more than 1,500 breweries across the country - and the only craft brewer to sell more suds is the Boston Beer Co., which makes the ubiquitous Samuel Adams beers.
Sierra Nevada is the sixth-biggest brewery in the U.S. - behind Anheuser-Busch, Miller-Coors, Pabst, Yuengling and Boston Beer Co. - yet its products still taste like they were created with the loving care of a small, hometown brewery.
With so much competition, how has Sierra Nevada stayed relevant and vital for so long? I say it comes down to three things: quality control, a spirit for innovation and a decision about five years ago to increase its brewing capacity at its Chico, Calif., brewing plant.
"In the early days, it was all that we could do to get enough beer out of the brewery to fulfill orders," said Bill Manley, Sierra Nevada's brewing communications coordinator.
The plant upgrade was big enough to allow the brewery to meet all its orders with room to grow, Manley said.
Since its brewmasters always made small batches of specialty beers in Chico, the company made a strategic decision to start putting those into bottles and out onto store shelves in 2007. This was excellent timing, as more and more people were turning on to flavorful beer.
"We felt that we had an opportunity as one of the pioneers of the movement to help introduce more beers in more styles across the country ... and frankly, sharing more of our story with our fans all across the country," Manley said. "We feel like it is our role as craft brewers to continually challenge tastes and to help advance the greater cause of better beer."
"They have really stepped up the innovation over the last several years," said Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association. "They are an industry leader that always pushes quality."
Recent sales figures show that Sierra Nevada sold 786,000 barrels of beer nationwide in 2010, Gatza said. That is a 9 percent increase over the year before - at a time when traditional beer sales are flat and the nation's economy is just crawling along.
When you walk into a good beer store now, you are likely to find at least five or six products from Sierra, including year-round products like incredibly popular Torpedo extra IPA or Kellerweis wheat beer. There will be a seasonal, like the Glissade golden bock beer or the most excellent Bigfoot Barleywine-style ale (which should reach the Boise market by late February or early March, a little later than usual) in the cooler, as well.
Don't forget to see what specialty beers the company has released in 22-ounce bottles, like the new Hoptimum Imperial IPA or the latest and last of its 30th anniversary beers, a delicious Brewer's Reserve Oak-Aged Ale, a dry-hopped combination of Bigfoot, the winter Celebration Ale and the flagship pale ale, in a 750-milliliter bottle.
It also has a series of Belgian Abbey Ales about to debut this spring.
That's how to thrive and survive in an ever-changing marketplace. Make the best beer and do it well. Happy birthday, Sierra Nevada.
4 Feb. 2011