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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.

US. Senate OKs self-distribution for craft beer brewers

Local brewer Chris Trudeau was ecstatic to hear that the Illinois Senate passed a measure Tuesday designed to allow craft brewers to self-distribute limited quantities of beer.

Trudeau is the founder and brewmaster of Rolling Meadows Brewery, a new Springfield microbrewery that is relying on the proposal to get its product to local bars.

“We’re super-excited about this,” Trudeau said. “It means for us that we can get out beer out to people in central Illinois much faster.”

Senate Bill 754 defines craft brewers as those who brew up to 465,000 gallons of beer a year. It would allow them to self-distribute 7,500 barrels – the equivalent of 15,000 kegs – annually.

“I’m carrying the legislation because … of the two craft brewers in Illinois, one is right around the corner and down the street from my house,” said the bill's sponsor, Sen. Donne Trotter, D-Chicago.

The proposal, which passed 48-1, with three voting “present,” stems from a 2010 lawsuit filed by Missouri-based Anheuser-Busch Inbev after the state of Illinois blocked its move to buy a Chicago-based beer distributor.

In Illinois, in-state brewers are allowed to self-distribute, but out-of-state brewers must go through third-party distributors. That became central to the A-B Inbev lawsuit.

U.S. District Judge Robert Dow Jr. gave the legislature a deadline to deal with the problem, but ruled that self-distribution rights would be taken away from all brewers in Illinois if no law was passed by May 31.

The sole “no” vote came from Sen. Steven Landek, D-Bridgeview, who did not respond to requests for comment.

The measure now goes to the House.

4 May. 2011

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