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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.


Czech Budvar wins Budweiser trademark in United Kingdom

Czech brewery Budejovicky Budvar said a British court rejected Anheuser-Busch InBev's request to secure exclusive rights to the Budweiser trademark, the latest ruling in its long-running legal battle with the world's biggest brewer.

Budvar said the UK Supreme Court rejected AB InBev's motion to file an extraordinary appeal against a July appeal court ruling, which had earlier dismissed the multinational company's request to invalidate Budvar's Budweiser trademark.

The ruling, which allows both companies to use the famous trademark in Britain, is an important win for Budvar in its third largest export market.

It also highlights the risk of allowing the co-existence of the brands in other markets.

The Czech brewer, which sold 1.3 million hectolitres of beer worldwide in 2011, and its larger rival, which sold 399.4 million hectolitres, are still fighting 11 court cases in 8 different countries.

The UK ruling followed a decision by the European Court of Justice in 2011.

The UK Supreme Court's ruling was final, Budvar said.

AB InBev said it was disappointed by the UK Supreme Court ruling but that it did not affect its Budweiser trademark in the country. It said Budweiser sales in the UK rose 40 percent between 2009 and 2011.

"This attempt to change the final decision of the court proves the long-term strong interest by (AB InBev) to gain exclusive rights for the Budweiser brand at any cost," Budvar Chief Executive Jiri Bocek said in a statement.

Budvar's brewery is in the Czech town of Ceske Budejovice, known as Budweis in German, where brewing dates back to the 13th century.

When the Budvar brewery started in 1895, U.S. brewer Anheuser-Busch, now part of Anheuser-Busch InBev, had already been making Budweiser beer for 19 years.

Budvar entered the UK market in 1973 and Anheuser-Busch in 1974. The latter applied to have the word Budweiser registered as a trademark in 1979. While this was being examined, Budvar also submitted a trademark application for its Budweiser in 1989.

British courts ruled in 2000 that both companies could each register Budweiser, which duly entered the Trade Marks Register on May 19 of that year.

17 Jan. 2013



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