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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.

US. Former president of Capital Brewery leads attempt to buy company

Capital Brewery, one of the state’s largest and oldest craft brewing companies, is being pursued by a group of private investors.

Carl Nolen, who was asked to leave the company July 6, said Thursday he is leading a group of investors who want to buy the brewery, currently owned by more than 1,400 stockholders.

The proposed purchase, along with a new infusion of money into the 25-year-old business, is designed to double or even triple the brewery’s annual production of 25,000 barrels of beer and increase the size of the Middleton brewery.

Details of an offer were not made public, but Nolen, 53, who is joined by his brother Mark Nolen, 63, a longtime banking executive, said it would take millions of dollars to grow and expand the business, which had $5.3 million in sales in 2010. He declined to disclose the other investors in the group.

“I’ve been thinking about how we grow this company for a long time,” Carl Nolen said. “Our plan is to tender a fair and equitable offer to all the stockholders of Capital Brewery as soon as possible.”

The board’s chairman, Scott Wiener, said he was unaware of Nolen’s plans until a reporter contacted him on Thursday. He is the company’s largest shareholder and was appointed president after Nolen’s removal. He declined to say why Nolen was removed.

Wiener was unsure if the proposal, which he had not seen, would be considered hostile.

“This is the first of I’ve heard of it,” Wiener said. “I don’t have anything to say until I find out more about what’s involved. This is news to me.”

A purchase price would likely be based on the company’s revenue and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, said Ryan Buckley, a vice president with Livingstone Partners in Chicago, an international investment banking firm that specializes in raising capital and unique transactions.

Both Nolen and Buckley said that expanding by taking on debt could be risky, as cash flow could be tied up in debt payments rather than in sales, marketing and creating new products.

The move by Nolen is meant to capitalize on the continued double-digit growth of the craft brewing industry while overall U.S. beer sales were down an estimated 1 percent in 2010, according to the Colorado-based Brewers Association.

Despite the growth, the 9.9 million barrels of craft beer amounted to less than 5 percent of total beer sales.

Nolen said craft beer could get 10 to 15 percent of the market.

“I don’t see it going backwards anytime soon,” Nolen said. “There’s no question the (craft beer) category is set up for growth.”

22 Jul. 2011

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