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.
California Brewery Hopes Its Local Focus Will Bring It Far
"I started thinking: why is someone in Maine going to want to drink a Hangar 24 Pale Ale when there are 300 other breweries in that part of the country that are brewing pale ales?" said Ben Cook, the founder and head brewer of Hangar 24. "Then there is Orange Wheat. You can't copy that."
Orange Wheat, a year-round offering, sources all of its oranges from Southern California's Inland Empire. The beer's success inspired Hangar 24's Field Series, a seasonal rotation of brews that rely on ingredients Hangar 24 sources near its home base in Redlands, Calif.
"Sure you can buy oranges anywhere. But the story, the authenticity isn't there," Cook said. "I thought what if we create a whole series of beer that truly represented where we are located — beers that are rooted in our geography."
The Field Series wasn't always in Cook's plan. The idea fell into his lap. Or more accurately, fell in a friend's yard.
"My buddy comes up to me and says 'I just bought this house with seven acres and there are apricots all over the place. Can you brew with them?' I said sure why not!" said Cook, laughing.
The result was a beer named "Polycot," which became one of the breweries most successful offerings. Other examples in the Field Series include Palmero, which is made with dates from the Coachella Valley; Warmer, which features fresh spruce from the San Bernardino Mountains; and Vinaceous, which uses crushed Mourvedre grapes from the Temecula Valley wine country.
Getting a Hand from the Neighbors
It's not just local ingredients that are used to make the Field Series. Often local residents are used to provide the manpower needed to brew some of the beers.
Take Gourdgeous, a porter brewed with pumpkins grown just a half mile from the brewery, as an example. Volunteers came to the brewery to help seed and cut the more than 1,000 pounds of pumpkins that were used to create the beer.
A similar effort was used to make the most recent batch of Polycot. Volunteers spent two days hand-pitting nearly 6,000 pounds of apricots.
The emphasis on creating local relationships doesn't end with the ingredients and volunteering residents. The brewery was one of two craft brewers chosen last season to sell its beer at nearby Anaheim Stadium, the home of Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The deal provided Hangar 24 with some nice publicity but more importantly gave them credibility in a crowded marketplace.
"A lot of people hadn't really heard of us at the time," he said. "People were like 'Are you another one of those breweries opening up everywhere?' But once we said we were one of two craft breweries that got invited to pour at Angel Stadium, they were like 'oh really?' Their whole mindset would change."
Hangar 24 is named after the hangar at a local airport where Cook, a licensed pilot, and his friends would relax after a day of flying. The group would talk aviation, play music and often drink Cook's home-brewed beer.
Eventually, Cook turned his passion for home brewing into his first real job in the industry, working with Anheuser-Busch in quality control.
"It's not necessarily the type of beer I would drink, but it's some of the highest quality beer in the world," he said. "They spend a disproportionate amount of money on quality and one of the things I learned from them is how to pay attention to detail. They didn't just pay attention to the quality of the beer, they pay attention to the quality of everything."
Wanting to learn more, Cook went to the University of California-Davis, where he graduated from the Master Brewers program. Upon graduation, Cook officially dropped the home brewer title and founded Hangar 24.
Now, nearly five years after its creation, the business is starting to take flight. It's grown to 100 employees and recently increased its distribution reach to the San Francisco Bay area, its largest expansion to date. Cook expects the growth to continue in 2013.
"In the next few months, we hope to have the rest of the state of California filled out and start expanding into Nevada and Arizona within the next 6 months," he said.
To keep up with demand, Hangar 24 is in the process of expanding its facility to increase its annual brewing capacity from its current 35,000 barrels and hopes to reach 100,000 barrels by 2015. As part of the expansion, the brewery is redesigning its tasting room, hoping to turn it into a destination for locals and tourists alike. No matter how large the company grows, Cook said the focus will always be the place in which it was founded.
"We really see ourselves as a community member and we don't just try and sell people something. We say 'Hey come join us in our passion.'" He continued, "I love when I hear one of our customers say 'our' brewery. That means we're doing a good job when I hear that."
14 Jan. 2013