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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. Utah beer co-op mourns loss of mini-kegs but carries on

Zion curtains hiding bartenders from public view are back, drink specials have been outlawed and, now, mini-kegs of beer have been banned.

The 5-liter, keg shaped Chubby, introduced to Utah in February, already has been pulled from most state-operated liquor stores, and no longer will be sold anywhere in Utah starting Oct. 1. Legislators took aim at the little fella by specifically outlawing any container of 5 liters or more.

Despite lawmakers’ efforts at reining in drinking habits because of fears of overconsumption, Utahns seem to like their beer.

Squatters and Wasatch Brewery, which produced the Chubby, is ramping up production to meet increased demand. The beer cooperative has added two, 200-barrel fermentation tanks to its production line. With a 6,200-gallon capacity, equivalent to 66,133 12-ounce bottles, these tanks will be dedicated to the production of the cooperative’s most popular beers: Squatters Hop Rising and The Devastator by Wasatch.

“We grew our sales about 20 percent last year, and we are ahead of that pace this year,” said Greg Schirf, Utah Brewers Cooperative managing partner. “These new tanks are the biggest fermentors we have ever purchased, and they will make a big difference in our production capacity.”

Last year, sales topped $7 million.

Still, the loss of the Chubby is “a heartbreaker,” said Schirf, who appeared before lawmakers earlier this year to make a case for the mini-keg. His arguments fell flat because the Chubby will soon join beer kegs, banned in 1990, as an illegal product — except for authorized beer retailers, such as taverns.

The Chubby holds the equivalent of 14, 12-ounce bottles, and unlike brown glass can be widely recycled. And although it is twice the size of a legal glass growler container, the Chubby holds less alcohol than a 24-pack sold at grocery stores.

17 Aug. 2011

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