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4-2017

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.

India. The Beer Cafe is looking to raise nearly $40 mn from PE funds

BTB Marketing Pvt. Ltd, the New Delhi-based company that runs The Beer Cafe, a chain of beer bars, is in talks with private equity funds to raise up to $40 million (Rs.270 crore) to expand its presence across the country, said two people directly familiar with the development.

“The beer chain is looking to raise fresh round of growth capital to expand its business in newer geographies. BTB has been out in the market to raise capital and is expected to close the round by the middle of next month (February),” said one of the two persons quoted above.

The company has hired investment bank Avendus Capital to help raise the funds. This would be the third round of fund-raising for the chain, and comes after a gap of over a year.

The company had previously raised two rounds of funding from venture capital firm Mayfield Fund. During its last round of fund-raising in December 2014, it raised Rs.30 crore from Granite Hill Capital and Mayfield Fund.

“Its existing investor Mayfield is expected to back the company during this round and they have also met all the large funds,” said the second person cited above.

Both spoke on condition of anonymity.

Rahul Singh, the founder of The Beer Cafe, said in an email response to queries from Mint that the process of raising funds would start “in April 2016, so should be able to close in 3-4 months from there”.

Nikhil Khattau, managing director at Mayfield Advisors Pvt. Ltd, declined to comment for this story.

The beer chain, which started operations in 2012, runs 29 outlets across 10 cities, including Mumbai, New Delhi, Chandigarh, Bengaluru, Amritsar, Gurgaon and Pune.

It offers imported and craft beers and has been looking to expand to the southern part of the country. The chain offers its customers 50 brands of beer from across 17 countries.

According to data available with the Registrar of Companies (RoC), The Beer Cafe’s revenue more than doubled to Rs.33 crore during financial year 2014-15, from Rs.13.7 crore the previous year.

The company reported a loss of Rs.11.3 crore in 2014-15.

Fund-raising by restaurant and cafe chains increased last year. According to VCCEdge, the financial research platform of VCCircle, private equity investors infused $232.5 million in the restaurant space in 2015, a jump of 80% over the previous year.

“It’s still an early stage of market development in beer cafes. There is a lot of interest from consumers as well as from investors in this format of cafes,” said Ravi Wazir, a hospitality business consultant based in Mumbai.

The number of beer cafes and microbreweries will increase in the coming years, he added.

1 Feb. 2016

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