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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.


Budweiser Budvar is launching non-returnable KeyKeg barrels on the market

Budweiser Budvar has launched 20 and 30 litre non-returnable kegs for draught beer on the market, which are quite unusual in Czech circumstances. The KeyKeg system basically works on the same principle as the popular beer tanks – the beer is filled into the inside capsule made of a special foil, which is completely gas-proof, thus providing high microbiological as well as sensory quality of beer. For the time being, the KeyKeg barrels are intended solely for export, particularly for out-of-Europe destinations. On Monday 14th March, the first consignment was despatched from the brewery heading for distant areas in Russia.
?esk? Bud?jovice, 17th March 2011 – Budweiser Budvar Brewery is launching 20 and 30 litre non-returnable beer barrels of the KeyKeg system on the market. They represent a radical technological novelty in the field of packing and distributing draught beer. In the case of non-returnable kegs the financially, administratively and time-wise demanding transport of the packaging back from the salesman to the brewery need not take place. Furthermore, the KeyKeg is also significantly lighter than a regular stainless steel keg, as with the 20 litre keg the weight of an empty packaging comes to 1kg while the regular stainless steel keg weighs 9kg. The KeyKeg thus in addition protects the environment, since it decreases the fuel consumption for transporting beer/empty packaging. Moreover, it is made of fully recyclable materials.
“From our as well as the customer’s point of view, the most important fact nonetheless is that the KeyKeg can keep the microbiological and sensory stability of beer in the same way as the regular stainless steel keg,“ says Budweiser Budvar’s maltster Adam Bro?, Ph.D. The KeyKeg system works on the same principle as the popular beer tanks. The beer is filled into the inside sterile capsule made of a special multilayer foil, which is completely gas-proof. During the drawing, the compressed gas never comes in direct contact with the beer, but only compresses the inside casing with the beer.
Budweiser Budvar is going to use the non-returnable KeyKeg barrels only as a strategic tool to develop its global export. The brewery anticipates no supplies of beer in such a type of packaging to the local market as yet. “The first consignment of 384 non-returnable kegs KeyKeg has been despatched to Russia this week,” says Budweiser Budvar’s export sales manager Renata P?nkov?. “By no means do we want to fully replace returnable kegs by KeyKeg barrels. We see the major potential of the non-returnable kegs in remote territories or in places where the secondary distribution of returnable packaging is either expensive or complicated. The interest in the KeyKeg has already been indicated by our partners in China, Australia, Greece and Cyprus,” adds Renata P?nkov?. Budweiser Budvar anticipates selling only in Russia over 6,000 KeyKeg barrels this year.

27 Mar. 2011



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