Pivnoe Delo


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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.

Budweiser v Budweiser: Czech brewer takes another round

The latest round in the long running trademark dispute between Budejovicky Budvar and AB-InBev over the Budweiser name has gone the way of the Czech brewer.
The advocate general of the European Court of Justice advised the court to rule against AB-InBev's attempts to invalidate the Czech brewer's use of the name Budweiser in the UK.
Both companies were given permission to simultaneously register the Budweiser trade mark in 2000, given their long-standing history of honest co-existence in the UK market.
However, in 2005 Anheuser-Busch - since taken over by InBev - started legal action on the grounds that their application for the registration of the mark in the UK (1976) predates Budvar's application (1989).
The advocate general said there was no room in European law for Ab-InBev's argument in European law.
The advocate's opinion, however, is not binding on the court.
The final judgment - on which the AG opinion is non-binding - is expected at a later date.Series of disputes
"We are pleased with the favourable tenor of the AG's opinion," said Kirsten Gilbert of Marks & Clerk Solicitors LLP acting for the Czech brewers Budejovick? Budvar.
"The two brands have co-existed in the UK for decades, differing in image, taste, price, and target market.
"The identical nature of the ‘Budweiser' marks is an honest, historical co-incidence, and causes no significant confusion amongst UK consumers.
"We now await the ECJ's final ruling, in the hope that it will concur with the AG's opinion."
The trademark dispute has been rumbling on for years with 115 legal disputes between 2000 and 2009 - 82 in favour of Czech brewer Budvar. There are still 22 disputes in 14 countries that remain unresolved.
4 Фев. 2011



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