The beer market dynamics in Russia is approaching zero, yet major brewers are divided into those who developed considerably in 2017 and those who considerably reduced their volumes. For instance, company Efes has managed to substantially extend their sales due to restrained pricing policy and activity in the modern trade. Heineken has also demonstrated an excellent performance promoted by significant increase of advertisement budgets launching a non-alcohol sort of the title brand and unusual activity in the economy market segment. Carlsberg and AB InBev have been focusing on margins and lost a market share of their inexpensive brands. Serious dependence on PET package and mass enthusiasm about Zhigulevskoe have negatively impacted the most of big regional brewers, that have been for the first time pressed by the leaders in the key sales channels, especially in Volga and Central regions. In the small business there has been a noticeable slowdown in appearing of new restaurant breweries, yet the number of craft breweries has been growing rapidly. In 2018, the beer market is likely to grow a little, while the share of AB InBev Efes may decrease due to the integration. ...
“Catalogue of Russian Beer Producers 2018” includes 1070 businesses ranging from large subsidiaries of international companies to rather small restaurant and craft microbreweries.The catalogue includes 32 large breweries, 75 regional breweries, 693 industrial mini- and microbreweries as well as 270 restaurant breweries. ...
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.
Illinois Craft Brewers Fight To Protect Right To Distribute
The Chicago area is one of the hubs of the microbrew phenomenon, with bigger names like Goose Island, Half Acre and suburban Munster, Indiana's Three Floyds leading the way. Smaller brewpubs and craft brewers like Metropolitan Brewing, Finch's Beer Co. and Revolution Brewing also cater to lovers of the finely-honed hop.
But a recent federal court decision has thrown craft brewers into a tussle with beer distributors and massive conglomerates, in a battle that will play out in the state legislature this month.
The dispute began when Anheuser-Busch, now a subsidiary of the Belgian mega-corporation InBev, made a rather audacious business move. The company, like all beer makers, is forced to deal with a middleman: the distributor. After Prohibition, the United States set up a three-tiered system for distributing alcohol, where the producer sells to a distributor, who in turn sells to the retailer. Only the retailer has direct access to customers.
Like any good business, Anheuser-Busch wanted to cut the middleman out. It already owned 30 percent of City Beverage, a Chicago wholesale distributor, and made a play to buy the remaining 70 percent. But the Illinois Liquor Control Commission pointed out that this would violate the three-tier system, and wouldn't allow the deal to go through.
Here, InBev cried foul. Specifically, it pointed to the fact that in-state beer producers (like the craft brewers mentioned above) were allowed to get distribution licenses, circumventing the distribution requirement, and it argued that out-of-state producers were being discriminated against by not being afforded this right.
Judge Robert Dow, Jr. agreed with Anheuser. But what to do? In his opinion, he saw two options: "extension" (allowing out-of-state brewers to distribute as well) or "nullification" (forbidding all brewers from distributing).
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AdvertisementNullification would be a cruel blow to craft breweries, who would then have to pay a third party to distribute their beers, a burden some of the smaller brewers might not be able to support. Judge Dow ultimately decided on nullification, but he gave an out: "the Court temporarily stays enforcement of its ruling to provide the General Assembly an opportunity to act definitively on this matter if it chooses to do so."
In other words, the state legislature has the chance to step in.
A team of local beer aficionados called, appropriately, Guys Drinking Beer, is one of the groups lobbying Springfield to adopt a middle path, allowing the little guys to self-distribute while keeping the three-tier system in place for behemoths like InBev.
The legislation they back would allow any brewer that produces fewer than 60,000 barrels of beer a year to obtain a distributor's license. Brewpubs would also be able to distribute under the legislation.
This would exclude even some of the larger craft brewers -- Goose Island, for instance, produced 127,000 barrels last year. But it would protect the smaller breweries who would potentially be crippled by a requirement to use a third-party distributor. For example, Chicago's Argus Brewery could keep self-distributing, and Two Brothers out of Warrenville could continue to run Windy City Distribution, which brings fine craft beers like Stone and Half Acre to retailers around Chicago.
"See, we got to thinking - the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild, who wrote the current legislation before the Illinois House and Illinois Senate, has the backs of craft brewers in the state," the Guys write on their "Save the Craft" page. "And we know that the Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois are in the corner of distributors. And Anheuser-Busch has suits in their corner too. But what about the people who drink all that beer in the first place? We're the ones who will ultimately be impacted by whatever proposal the legislature approves."
In order to save the craft, the site directs readers to call and email their legislators, encouraging them to back House Bill 205 and Senate Bill 88, the legislation that provides for this middle way.
To learn more, or to join the fight, head over to Save The Craft for more information. And a generous hat-tip to Chicagoist, whose Karl Klockars is also one of the Guys Drinking Beer.
25 Feb. 2011