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.
This new Bud’s for you – only it’s an American ale
So when A-B puts the Budweiser name on a new product, you know that a lot of thinking and planning has gone into the process. This month, the new Budweiser American Ale arrived on the on the market, across the country and in Asheville, where it looks to compete with countless number of national brands, imports and crafts.
Launching a new brew
As the beer rolls out, emotions at Anheuser-Busch include “excitement and little bit of apprehension, because you are doing something of such significance,” said Keith Levy, vice president of brand management for the brewery. “Budweiser is a name that so many drinkers trust.”
Because of its unique place on the beer scene, many loyal Bud and Bud Light drinkers are so unlikely to switch to the ale, though some will give it a try. Bud American Ale is actually going after drinkers who like bigger flavors — more hops, more malt.
Budweiser of Asheville now has the product all over the area, said Chad Wood, of Budweiser of Asheville.
A check of various national beer Web sites shows many positive reviews for the beer.
Budweiser American Ale has been in the works for 18 months, said Eric Beck, the brewmaster who worked on this project.
“We feel like this is something that the consumer is asking for,” he said. “You have seen the shift over the past five, 10 years of people wanting different beers for different occasions.”
Creating the recipe “was quite a journey and a lot of fun,” he said.
The beer is made using only American-grown ingredients, he added.
For the moment, the beer is being produced at two locations: St. Louis and Fort Collins, Colo., but that could expand depending on demand.
The differences in lager and ale
In opening bottles of classic Budweiser and Budweiser American Ale, it is obvious that these beers are different styles. Bud and Bud Light are golden in color, lighter in flavor. Bud American Ale has a red-amber color with more aroma and bigger flavors, thanks to four varieties of hops. It’s also dry-hopped, using Cascade hops, a process that adds more flavor.
It’s not as big in hop taste as say, Highland Gaelic or Asheville Pizza and Brewing’s Shiva, but there is some very noticeable flavor in there. Budweiser American Ale has its own unique taste profile, so maybe you can’t really compare it to anything else. The only way to know is to go buy a bottle at a bar or a six-pack at the grocery store. If you’ve got gas to get there, that is.
Remembering Michael Jackson
Probably everyone reading this column knows that “our” Michael Jackson was the “bard of beer,” the world’s undisputed authority and beer journalist.
It’s been a year since he left this mortal realm, and on Tuesday night, local beer drinkers can gather at the Thirsty Monk beer bar (at the corner of Coxe and Patton avenues) to raise a toast in his honor.
Come on by 6-9 p.m. Many of the local breweries will have beers down there, including a cask from Asheville’s Highland Brewing Co.
9 Feb. 2011