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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.

Halal “Bavaria” in Malaysia

Correct us in the comments if we’re wrong, but in the Quran, the warning is to not drink ‘khamr’. Khamr means any kind of drink or drug that causes intoxication, so that leaves out small amounts of alcohol found in many foods and drinks that we eat every day, such as grapes and tapai.

Then this Malaysian businessman found a way to work around this law by producing non-alcoholic beer, Bavaria 0.0%! It’s essentially a malt beverage, just like Milo and Horlicks. Unfortunately, the businessman Ruzi Shuib hasn’t gotten the Jakim stamp of approval for his beer, and as long as they won’t sign off on it, it’s gonna be a challenge to break into the market, as one KL restaurateur put it, customers were put off by the bottle which looked like a regular beer bottle.

If it’s just another Milo or Horlicks tho, what’s the problem? Actually sources were saying some of these so-called halal beer might not be halal coz when they tested Istak (an Iranian brand), it was found to contain 0.5% alcohol. The approved level in Malaysia is 0.01%. But like that, tapai contains 5% wor, yet we still see shops selling.

On top of that, Jakim refuses to certify any product with ‘beer’ in the name…even if it has no alcohol. That’s why A&W renamed its root beer, A&W Sarsaparilla, in 2009 to get its cert. At the same time, other non-alcoholic beers, Barbican from Saudi Arabia and Istak from Iran are also NOT Jakim approved. However, Barbican is no problemo in the eyes of the National Fatwa Council.

Wall Street Journal reported Euromonitor analyst Amin Alkhatib’s predictions that non-alcoholic beer sales in the country will grow from 3 million litres in 2013 to 3.6 million litres by 2016. Yet, we are still faaaaaar behind the Middle East where 1.43 BILLION litres of beer was sold in 2013.

29 Feb. 2016

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