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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.

Beer and monastic Orders

Catholicism is quantitatively the largest religious trend in Christianity that is followed by about 1.2 billion of people. A key role at the beer market was played by Catholic monastic orders that have different rules and ideology. Therefore their contribution to the history of brewing is qualitatively different.
03Basic ideas that distinguish two largest subdivisions of Catholicism are based on a decision: 1) achieving God through labour - for the monks of Benedictine orders; and 2) achieving God through poverty - for mendicant orders. Therefore it is fully natural that a key role in development of brewing technology was played by the branch of Benedictine rule. They also form the basis for the modern abbey brewing today. But bright characters of monks on packing well known to the beer lovers almost all belong to mendicant orders.

Apparently, due to presence of a lot real breweries, the attributes of orders of Benedictine rule attract less attention of marketing specialists than characters and images of mendicant orders.

Most probably, the next chapter will tell about not all breweries at Catholic monasteries, as on the first place their number is constantly growing. Brewing is traditional and, as it turned out, effective economic activity for the present day monks.

Besides, we find very important one Benedictine’s argument that “brewery searches the way to the hearts of those who have not come to the religion”, because a brewing serves as a meeting point for wandsmen and laymen. And recently the Catholic church has been seeking more openness and participation in the society life, thus, such links are valuable. That is why, in Catholic communities, where it is appropriate, all over the world one should expect upspring of a lot of breweries.

Let’s look at the structure of orders, breweries and abbey brands in more detail.

Next: Benedictine roots of beer brands ->

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