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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.

Brewing discontent: Frothy passions erupt when Thailand craft beer goes big

Crack open a bottle of Chiang Mai Weizen from Thailand’s first legal craft brewery, Chiang Mai Beer, and out pours a light straw color, almost golden or banana yellow. There’s a slight haze, typical of the weizen, or wheat style.

However, its recent debut started a firestorm on social media, with this particular beer becoming the focal point for a controversy that’s been brewing ever since the race to produce a large-scale, Thai-made craft beer began about two years ago.

In December, Chiang Mai Beer won that race, becoming Thailand’s first domestic craft brewery to distribute on a large scale. It got around the illegality of home brewing by sending it to be bottled in Laos and shipped back to Thailand to be taxed as “foreign-made beer.”

Despite this feat, critics were quick to slam it as awful and blame the move to large-scale production.

“The weizen has no mark of weizen at all,” proclaimed Yaksa Brewery. “The beer was too light. There was not a single trace of wheat. Every smell was overwhelmed by the rotten and damp smell. I tried to continue drinking it to really know it, but I had to give up. The beer was clearly infected.”

5 Feb. 2016



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