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4-2017

Global hop market

A 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 Russia

Germany 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.

Beer costs too much: Ontario Tory leader

Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives say if they win this fall’s provincial election, they would consider lowering the price of beer.
On Monday, party leader Tim Hudak left the door open to return to “a buck a beer” — or $24 per case of 24 beers.
While Hudak wouldn’t commit to the policy change, he said rising beer prices “are just one of the many things hitting Ontario families in the pocket.”
“I do hear from people who say ‘Come on, I can’t even get a buck a beer in this province thanks to Dalton McGuinty’s policies,” said Hudak.
Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan ended the $24 case in late 2008, when he asked the Liquor Control Board of Ontario to hike the minimum price to $25.60 (it has since risen to $25.95 excluding deposits for bottles). A letter released at the time showed Duncan was acceding to a demand by the brewing industry.
The change came after several smaller breweries gained an edge over the established brands by lowering their price. One of those companies, Lakeport Brewing Co., shocked the traditional beer powerhouses Labatt and Molson last decade by marketing its Honey Lager as “a buck a beer.” (Lakeport was subsequently bought by Labatt Brewery, which is in turn owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev).
At the time, Duncan and the LCBO defended the price hike by saying it would cause people to drink less.
“The concept is that if prices are low, consumption goes higher,” LCBO spokesman Chris Layton added at the time. “People buy more and drink more.”
Hudak, 43, first raised the issue of beer prices in a Super Bowl weekend news release.
When asked whether he intended to lower the minimum price he did not directly respond.
“We’ll have more to say in the time ahead about some of the ideas we are hearing from Ontario families,” he said.
Minimum beer and liquor prices in Ontario are set by the LCBO as part of its “social responsibility” mandate, established in 1993 to help guard against overindulgence.
8 Feb. 2011

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