Global hop marketA 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 RussiaGermany 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.
10+1 trends of Russian beer market 2015-2017Despite of the moderately negative prognoses for 2017, the beer market can be stabilized soon. Yet the years of the negative dynamics have resulted in marketing being limited just to “optimization” and the art of balancing between price and volumes. Bigger supermarkets share means stronger trade marketing. These processes are connected to the majority of the described trends. At the same time, the federal brands inflation leads to searching for new tastes, sales channels and contact formats that expand the product range and diversify the beer market, but do not imply a substantial volume increase. Let us enumerate and further discuss the ten trends of the beer market we can see in 2015-2017 as well as the major event of 2017.
Beer market of Ukraine 2017In the first half of 2017, the Ukrainian beer market goes on decreasing slowly. Yet, the companies manage to compensate their lost volumes by raising prices and improving the sales structures. This results in the mid price market segment reduction while the sales of premium brands are rising. These processes are connected to position strengthening of companies Carlsberg Group and Oasis and the market share reduction of Obolon. Most of the novelties by the market leaders belong to craft or hard lemon categories.
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.
In the course of collision with the Roman church Protestantism became firmly established in the countries of Northern Europe and became a dominant religion there. In the same region beer wins a competition over wine, as wine industry cannot develop because of cold climate. But, despite that and abundance of old brands, their names practically do not intersect with Protestant churches. There is a row of reasons why that happened.
Most Protestants reject monkhood, propagandizing secular living in accordance with the Bible, although some confessions have communes similar to monasteries. Therefore, the concepts of "monasterial/abbey" beer and Protestantism are not very compatible.
Positive attitude towards entrepreneurial spirit and liberal looks inherent to the Protestants on the whole provide possibilities to producers wanting to brew "Protestant" beer. But the generalized advertisement association would be strange because of the great number of external forms of Protestant church.
And the names of separate Protestant churches are used for nonalcoholic products, but rarely for beer, on moral and legal considerations. One of the few examples is The Thirsty Quaker brewery from Jersey, USA, that besides the name uses a recognizable image of a Quaker’s hat on its logotype.
Protestant church attributes are usually taken to the minimum. Well-known names and religious characters that potentially can be used by marketing specialists of brewing companies are limited too. It is because most Protestants don’t have the division into the clergy that is close to God, and the laity, therefore there are not as many reverent saints as in a Catholicism and Orthodoxy. Rather there are bright images and people who laid the foundation of some flow of Christianity. Their names potentially can be used in the naming of beer.
Such example is the Black Abbey brewing company, located in Nashville, USA. Characters of monks-brewers are replaced there by "beer fraternity". It is further needed to quote the uncut legend of Black Abbey Brewing Company itself, which tied up the story of Martin Luther and brewing:
«St. Anne, help me! I will become a monk!” Fearing he was suffering God’s judgment, Martin Luther uttered these words while trapped in a fierce thunderstorm in Stotternheim, Germany in 1505. True to his declaration, the onetime law student soon joined the Augustinian monastery in Erfurt, Germany. A few years later he relocated to Wittenberg’s monastery, The Black Cloister, and it was there that he penned his famous Ninety-Five Theses. He nailed the document, which boldly challenged the church establishment, to the Castle Church doors in Wittenberg on Oct. 31, 1517. So began the Protestant Reformation.
After years on the run as an outlaw, Luther returned to The Black Cloister in 1525 and married Katherine von Bora, a refugee nun who had earned her brewing license before fleeing her convent. The couple received The Black Cloister building and grounds as a wedding gift, moved in and made it their personal residence, “Lutherhaus.”
Katherine created what became known as the best beer in Wittenberg. Using local ingredients and traditional techniques, Katherine crafted beers that were likely more similar to today’s Belgian-style ales than to the lagers for which Germany is famous.
What the Luthers established was, in the truest sense, a new kind of abbey: A community of fellowship bound together by hard work and fine, handcrafted ales. Given this history and our deep respect for the accomplishments and vision of Martin Luther, we settled on the name The Black Abbey Brewing Company.
The Black Abbey brews similarly inspired ales in Nashville, Tennessee. These ales are creative, accessible and unique. They rely on 600 years of brewing tradition, starting with styles that Martin Luther himself might have enjoyed».