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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.

Kirin to bring Brooklyn craft beer to Japan

Kirin Brewery will partner with Brooklyn Brewery to produce and sell the New York-based company's popular craft beer in Japan and Brazil starting next year.

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In Japan, the two companies plan to set up a joint venture next January, with the Kirin Holdings unit expected to take a majority stake. The U.S. company's signature Brooklyn Lager, known for its rich flavor, will be produced at Kirin factories -- in cans, bottles and kegs for eateries -- and be sold exclusively by Kirin through high-end supermarkets and liquor stores as well as restaurants and bars. A bottle will likely cost around 400 yen to 500 yen ($3.90 to $4.90).

Even as the overall beer market keeps shrinking in Japan, demand is growing for craft beer, which puts an emphasis on flavor and brewing method. Kirin will become the first major Japanese beer company to make foreign craft beer.

Established in 1988, Brooklyn Brewery ranks 12th among U.S. craft beer makers by production volume but comes in second by export volume. Approximately half of its production is exported. Garrett Oliver, the brewery's "brewmaster," is an iconic figure in the craft beer industry.

In the U.S., craft beer has grown to hold nearly 20% of the beer market as Budweiser and other major brands have fallen out of favor among consumers.

As part of efforts to reduce dependence on big brands, Kirin has already partnered with Yo-Ho Brewing, the largest craft beer maker in Japan.

The Japanese market for beer products has contracted for 11 years in a row. But the craft beer market, now about 40,000 kiloliters, is projected to grow to 150,000kl in 2021. The Kirin group aims to boost its share of the booming market to 50% by then from roughly 25% now.

14 Sep. 2016

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