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.
Beer market of Vietnam: “Young tiger”Vietnam is one of the few big beer markets that continue to grow steadily. The beer popularity results from its low price, street consumption culture, and social motives. The outlooks of beer market as well as the Vietnamese economy inspire optimism, though the country is heavily dependent on export of goods. The state regulation can be called liberal, but the key risk for brewers is harbored in intensive rising of excise. Within TOP-4 there are two leaders, Sabeco and Heineken that grow at the fastest rates. The first company effectively employs its capacities, the second one focuses on marketing technologies. Almost 80% of the market belongs to century-old brands, yet the middle class and the youth are shifting their interest toward international premium that is growing taking share from the mainstream.
Analysis of beer market in China (on Russian)
Beer market of Ukraine: big three losing weightIn 2016, fast increase of excises and resulting price spike stood in the way of the beer market stabilization. Most of competition (as well as mass sorts) moved to the economy segment of the market. The biggest losses were incurred by the leading three, especially Obolon, which again experienced pressure after reallocation of Efes market share. However, one should already speak of TOP-4. Group Oasis CIS (PPB) became a strong player and competitor to transnational companies. Besides the net sales of many regional medium breweries look rather good and 16-fold cost reduction wholesale trade license for craft brewers opens up a possibility of rapid growth in 2017.
India. IPA: the beer for the British imperial arsenal?
The common refrain goes that troops stationed in India didn’t enjoy the warm, heavy porter-style beer being shipped from England, and wanted something lighter and easier to drink during those hot Indian summers. George Hodgson’s Bow Brewery “answered the call” of the soldiers, creating the first IPA, which he packed with hops (supposedly to protect the beer from souring) and would lose some of its harsh bitterness after several months at sea. He also brewed the beer at a much higher ABV than usual, again to stave off infection and keep its flavor during the journey.
While tidy, this tale is not entirely accurate. Enter Martyn Cornell, a British beer historian who has often made note of the entirely trumped up nature of the origin story of one of the world’s most popular beers. According to Cornell’s blog post “Four IPA Myths That Need To Be Stamped Out For IPA Day” (which occurs every August for those wishing to celebrate), Hodgson didn’t necessarily invent a new style insomuch as he produced a beer that was long-sent to British territories and received credit for creating a new style. British troops in Asia drank “porter in India right through to the end of the 19th century,” and most of the pale ales exported to India were actually consumed by the middle and upper classes among the expats in India. The IPAs of the time were not particularly strong, and any time export beers were being sent somewhere warm they were highly hopped. Ergo, while Hodgson often gets the credit, the variety he “created” existed in some form well before his version of IPA made the trip east.
But like every good tale, there is a grain of truth in the most commonly known story. That truth is found primarily in the extremely well researched book IPA: Brewing Techniques, Recipes and the Evolution of India Pale Ale by Stone Brewing Company Brewmaster Mitch Steele. Steele talked to several beer historians and homebrewers about the IPA, and found that the beer’s history, although still debated, has some commonalities with the lore. In the early 1700’s brewers gained a new malt variety in their arsenal, the pale malt. Kilned with coke as fuel, the pale malt increased efficiency and created a higher-quality beer, while also giving the beer a lighter color and a less smoky flavor. October Beer, one of the beers said to be the precursor to the IPA, which uses fresh malt and fresh hops, uses 100% pale malt in its recipe, and was expected to age for two to three years before serving, due to its strength.
Here’s where our myth and reality start to come together. As beer began to be sold for export by British brewers to British territories around the world, George Hodgson “developed a business relationship with the officers of the East India Company,” and therefore was able to get a near monopoly in the Indian market. This reinforces Cornell’s argument that Hodgson got credit for the style even though his beer was similar to the kinds of beer that were already going to India. Hodgson didn’t create a new beer. It just so happened that his October Beer was popular among the 18th Century gentry that settled in India, and the beer generally held up well on the voyage, thereby tasting good upon arrival.
So next time you’re sipping on an IPA, be thankful it didn’t take months to get to you, and enjoy the crisp bitterness of a classic beer style.
2 Jun. 2016