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.
…and real monks
All four Franciscan monasteries with breweries are situated in Bavaria. One of them – Kreuzberg, was founded on a slope of the mountain of the same name which became a known place of annual pilgrimage not only for Catholics, but also for half a million tourists. They climb a 928 meters high stone stairway to enjoy views from "The sacred mountain of Francs", to see live history and to try abbey beer.
The monastery, founded in 1692, and the Klosterbrauerei Kreuzberg brewery opened in 1731 still belong to the monks of the Franciscan order. The monastery endured the period of secularization rather easily, all possessions remained in property of Franciscans. But for some time beer stopped being brewed in the monastery, production was resumed in 1954 and several times its modernization was carried out. The annual output volume is small – about 85 000 dal of which about one third of beer is sold at a restaurant, the main part of beer is packed in 5-50 liter barrels for private buyers – visitors of the monastery, and a small part goes to other Franciscan monasteries.
In the settlement of Sachsenkam in the south of Bavaria the monastery of Franziskanerinnenkloster Reutberg is located, which became a popular place thanks to a beer garden overlooking the mountains. Today the tertiaries live in the monastery – people who accept vows to live according to spiritual requirements of the order, but aren't ready to leave secular life completely.
The first structures of the monastery were built by Capuchins in 1618, but later sisters of the Franciscan order settled there. In 1677 a brewery started working at the monastery and in 100 years a great number of visitors were drawn there. The secularization of 1803 interrupted the normal life of the monastery, but in 1835 the monks returned, and the brewery resumed its work. Problems with profitability after World War I led to a short halt of production. But in 1923 the monastery again started production of beer, this time in cooperation with farmers. Over the years the Klosterbrauerei Reutberg brewery turned into quite a large enterprise, remaining one of the few brewing cooperatives in Bavaria.
The monastery in the city of Mallersdorf is known because its brewery is operated by a woman. Sister Doris Engelhard in 1969 got the diploma of a brewer and since then every Sunday brews beer. She is one of the nuns of a big female community of the Franciscan order numbering more than 400 people.
From the moment of foundation of the monastery in the X century and to its secularization it belonged to the Benedictine order. But even after the property was taken from the monks and sold out, the brewery continued to work as a part of a farm. In 1869 the community of Franciscan sisters redeemed part of the monastery. In 1881 beer production was resumed, and in 1913 sisters got the rest of the former Benedictine abbey. Volumes of output of Klosterbrauerei Mallersdorf are very small, and its range consists of several main sorts and a seasonal sort of beer.
Franciscan community of Sankt-Josefskongregation Ursberg lives in the Bavarian town of Ursberg. Beer was brewed in Kloster Ursberg as early as 1623, but as a result of secularization the monastery was disbanded. At first a court worked in its premises, and then a shelter and a hospital for mentally challenged people were opened there. To look after the patients a big Franciscan community of sisters was also restored. In the hotel for pilgrims and tourists the brewery and Klosterbrauhaus Ursberg restaurant work, and in the summer visitors can have a rest and eat in a beer garden at the restaurant.
The Augustinian Order is the general name for groups of the Christians living according to Saint Augustine's Rule. This rule is one of the first sets of rules for people who would like to lead spiritual life similar to monks. The Rule of Augustinians had a great influence on formation of a stricter Rule of Benedictines.
The founder of Protestant church himself belonged to the Order of Augustinians – Martin Luther who broke considerable part of governors, priests and flock away from Rome. After the order’s blossoming in the XVI century when it totaled to 30 000 members, the Reformation and the French revolution practically destroyed it, and younger Catholic movements adopted the dominating role. Therefore today there isn’t much that speaks about numerous monasteries of Augustinians in the late Middle Ages, many of which brewed beer. We found a mention only of four operating breweries in Germany which have some relation to Augustinian monasteries.
One of the breweries was founded in 1839 by a tavern keeper from the city of Eschwege, the State of Hessen. In 1875 the equipment for beer production was transported to the empty premises of the former Augustinian monastery which was bought by the owners of the brewery. And in 1908, as a result of merges, the company which received the name Eschweger Klosterbrauerei was formed. Production volumes of the enterprise are quite great – up to 1 million dal of beer. The majority of beer sorts emphasize continuity of the company to Augustinian brewers.
The second brewery is connected with the monastery in Bavarian city of Munnerstadt which in 1297 was founded by Augustinians. It is considered that beer in the monastery started being brewed in 1381. Kloster Munnerstadt did not fully repeat the sad destiny of many monasteries in medieval Europe. Country revolts of the XVI century were especially cruel in Franconia * and monks had to escape, and their structures were destroyed. But in 1652 the first four brothers returned, and in 10 years the construction of a new building of the monastery began. During secularization the monks didn't lose their property, and over the years the monastery thanks to efforts of a great number of craftsmen became more beautiful, having turned into "a pearl of Franconian Rococo".
* Northern areas of Bavaria
In 1978 the monastic brewery was leased to individuals, and in 2005 the Rother Brau Company began production of beer for the monastery under the contract. In 2010 Rother Brau, as far as we know, acquired exclusive rights for the use of the monastery’s name and production of beer at the monastic brewery itself was phased down. Today the company bottles Klosterbrauerei Munnerstadt Kloster Urstoff beer with the image of a company of four cheerful monks.