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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.

Japan. Kirin Holdings to Take 20% Stake in Brooklyn Brewery

Kirin Holdings Co. of Japan has agreed to take a minority stake in Brooklyn Brewery, people familiar with the matter said, in one of the first investments by a Japanese company in a U.S. craft brewer.

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The investment will give Kirin a roughly 20% interest in Brooklyn Brewery, the U.S.’s 12th-largest craft brewer by volume, the people said.

With the investment, Kirin joins a host of Japanese companies that are using acquisitions to expand beyond traditional markets. Rival Asahi Group Holdings Ltd., on Tuesday closed a $3.5 billion acquisition of several former SABMiller brands, including Peroni and Grolsch.

Brooklyn Brewery, based in the borough’s neighborhood of Williamsburg, is one of the most established independent brewers in the U.S. It dates its history to the late 1980s, and growth has accelerated in recent years as the borough where it was born has gained prominence and cultural influence world-wide.

The brewery produced 277,000 barrels of beer last year, up from 169,000 barrels produced in 2010, according to industry tracker Beer Marketer’s Insights.

Financial terms of the Kirin investment weren’t immediately available.

Brooklyn Brewery is one of the few American craft brewers that has worked to build an international business. It has been shipping its beer to Japan since 2003 and has a sizable business in Scandinavia. In 2014, the brewery and Carlsberg A/S opened a joint venture brewery in Stockholm. It struck an agreement earlier this year for a similar partnership in Japan with Kirin.

bn-qf432_jbeer0_m_20161012021722Kirin’s investment in the growing U.S. craft beer market comes amid a prolonged downturn in Japanese beer sales. Shipments of beer and related brews fell to about 425 million cases in 2015, compared with a peak of 573 million cases in 1994, according to the Brewers Association of Japan.

The investment will help Brooklyn Brewery as it gears up for a major expansion. The company this year signed a 40-year lease for 75,000 square feet at Brooklyn’s Navy Yard where it plans to have offices, a beer garden and brewery operations. It also is planning an expansion site in Staten Island to increase beer production.

The U.S. craft beer market has slowed lately, decreasing to 8% growth in the first half of 2016 after six years of double-digit growth. Large craft brewers like Sierra Nevada and Boston Beer Co., which makes Samuel Adams Boston Lager, have seen volumes decline as more small breweries open across the country.

12 Oct. 2016

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