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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.

U.S. Brewery Count Passes 1700

The Brewers Association's Membership Coordinator and Brewery Detective Erin Glass keeps an eye on brewery openings, closings, transitions and breweries in planning. With so much interest in craft brewing today, there is a lot more detective work and a large number of calls and emails to breweries in planning, those on the cusp and those recently opened.
Many startups join the Brewers Association during the planning phase to access our resources and the expertise of the network and remain members after becoming operational. U.S. operational brewery membership is now at 1,218. Total brewery membership, when international breweries, contract brewing companies and breweries in planning are added, is 1,619.
The count is at 1,701 operating breweries in the U.S. There are 9 percent more breweries in the U.S. than a year ago. As I blow the dust off the historical records, it appears that there were 1,751 breweries in 1900 and 1,498 in 1910. So we have more breweries than we have since around 1905. My resource for these data points is The Register of United States Breweries 1876-1976 (compilers Friedrich and Bull). There certainly are a lot more diverse brewing styles being offered today, particularly by craft brewers, and I'm betting quality is far greater now than then.
At the end of March during the general session of the Craft Brewers Conference, I will present the number of breweries that operated for some or all of 2010, which will be a higher number than the current count, as it will include breweries that closed in 2010. Another interesting number will be the breweries opening count.

Paul Gatza

24 Feb. 2011

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