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.
10+1 trends of Russian beer market 2015-2017Despite of the moderately negative prognoses for 2017, the beer market can be stabilized soon. Yet the years of the negative dynamics have resulted in marketing being limited just to “optimization” and the art of balancing between price and volumes. Bigger supermarkets share means stronger trade marketing. These processes are connected to the majority of the described trends. At the same time, the federal brands inflation leads to searching for new tastes, sales channels and contact formats that expand the product range and diversify the beer market, but do not imply a substantial volume increase. Let us enumerate and further discuss the ten trends of the beer market we can see in 2015-2017 as well as the major event of 2017.
Beer market of Ukraine 2017In the first half of 2017, the Ukrainian beer market goes on decreasing slowly. Yet, the companies manage to compensate their lost volumes by raising prices and improving the sales structures. This results in the mid price market segment reduction while the sales of premium brands are rising. These processes are connected to position strengthening of companies Carlsberg Group and Oasis and the market share reduction of Obolon. Most of the novelties by the market leaders belong to craft or hard lemon categories.
Beer market of Russia 2016: PET goes to draftThe beer market of Russia was warmed up by the hot summer, but the preparation for large volume PET prohibition has already impacted it negatively. The year was successful for Efes, MBC and regional producers; Carlsberg’s positions were virtually stable but AB InBev and Heineken lost a part of market share having focused on the sales profitability. The dynamics of big brands was determined by how much the companies were willing to keep the prices down or by their promotional activity. In this context the economy segment of the beer market and sales of inexpensive draft beer were increasing. The premium segment started shrinking due to license brands migrating to the mainstream segment.
Brewer’s launches, grows in a down economy
"My favorite is the Moon Dance stout with nitrogen infusion, which gives it a creamy head with small carbonation bubbles," Clay County resident Dibble said. "The nitrogen makes your mouth feel different."
Two years ago, Dibble was driving down Blanding Boulevard when he saw the Brewer’s sign and decided to stop in. Like many others, he has been a loyal customer since, visiting at least once per week.
The restaurant and brewpub at 14B Blanding Boulevard, just south of the Duval County line, is the brainchild of Mike Wilson who co-owns the establishment with Troy Maas. When he first opened three years ago, Wilson wasn’t brewing his own line of beer. He knew that was going to cost as much as a $200,000 to $300,000 investment. He said he wanted to get the revenue stream going first, so he started with good quality pizza. That’s where Maas came in.
"Troy loved running the pizza business, so we started selling the pizza and everyone else’s beer," Wilson said. "Then we started brewing."
He and his team have expanded the space three times, to approximately 5,000 square feet to accommodate the brewery and seating for 100 people. Within the next year, Wilson hopes to open another location in Clay County.
In early 2011, Keegan Malone – who was recently made a partner – joined the team and Brewer’s began brewing inhouse. Using input from customers, as well as his own ideas, Malone created the recipes for Pinglehead to create the signature "big beer" flavors. Because of the success of the food and beer, Brewer’s sales have moved only in one direction—up.
"If you look at our growth chart, there is only an increase in sales," Wilson said, moving his right hand in an upward manner as he discusses his business "…which is counter-intuitive to the economy."
Brewer’s business plan parallels microbrewery growth nationwide. According to the national trade group, the Brewer’s Association, craft beer enthusiasts spent $8.7 billion on hand-crafted beer in 2011, up from $7.6 billion in 2010. Craft beer sales have had an increase of 12 percent in the first six months of 2012.
While most craft breweries target 20and 30-something professionals and beer connoisseurs, the crowd at Brewers is more diverse, perhaps a parallel to the diversity of Clay County.
"You’ll see 70-year-old couples in here," Wilson said. "A dad will come in with two small kids and refill his growlers. We recently hosted a group of teachers."
Service members can often be seen at Brewer’s enjoying the rich taste of Pinglehead after a long day at work or after a long deployment.
"Lots of times, guys will get back from a tour overseas, where they’ve tasted heavier ales and they want something better. They want something other than Bud[weiser]," Wilson said.
Brewer’s carries around 51 bottled beers in addition to the 30 beers on tap, including 13 of its own signature Pinglehead brand beers. Four of Pinglehead’s beers are distributed around Northeast Florida and can be found in restaurants and bars from Fernandina Beach to St. Augustine.
"They have a great beer rotation, not only theirs, but other craft brews," Dibble said. "It changes every week. Usually when I come in, I try a new one and go back to their Pinglehead brand."
For the fall, Brewers serves a popular seasonal ale called Punk, which has a creamy vanilla taste at first sip, but finishes with a pumpkin flavor when it hits the back of the palate.
"Last year, we slightly modified the pumpkin ale," Wilson said. "I think we’ve found the best possible recipe. It’s a winner."
Robin Bennett, an aviation airframer, and has been a loyal customer since the second day Brewer’s opened. His favorite is the Mind Drive Imperial Porter with its slightly hoppy, chocolate taste.
For many of the regulars, enjoying a pint at Brewer’s Pizza is about the experience of the restaurant. Patrons can try different flavors while eating homemade pizza and catching up with friends. But the conversation can often surround home brews and what different concoctions brew enthusiasts are working on that week.
"I tell everybody about Brewer’s," Bennett said. "Everybody’s friendly and gets along and what’s not to love about the beer?"
"Everyone that tastes the beer is shocked because it’s made in Clay County," Wilson said.
STAFF PHOTO BY SARAH WAKEFIELD
ORANGE PARK--Mike Wilson, co-owner of Brewer’s Pizza, shows off some of the kegs in the brewery section of the restaurant and microbrewery located at 14B Blanding Blvd., just south of the Duval County line. He has expanded three times in three years.
15 Nov. 2012