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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.

US. New brewery to focus on lagers

A new beer will soon join Portland's growing batch of homegrown brews, but this one is a bit different.

Tom Bull and Alan Jagger have launched Bull Jagger Brewing Co. in a 1,500-square-foot facility in Portland's Riverside Industrial Park to make lagers, which they say is rare among microbrews.

"Tom and I love lagers," Jagger says. "And we saw a void. Most of the microbrews are making ales, and we thought Maine could use a new lager."

The difference between lagers and ales lies in the yeast strains used and the temperatures at which the yeast ferments, according to Bull.

The men are starting their business, at 1 Industrial Way, by making one beer, called Portland Lager, which will go on sale in the next couple of weeks, the owners say. They're planning to introduce it at Portland's Harvest on the Harbor Oct. 20-22, an annual festival of local food and drink.

Bull Jagger will try to take advantage of the national trend of rising microbrew sales. Maine now has about 25 microbreweries, according to the Maine Brewer's Guild, with a handful starting up just in the last two years. The sector is growing quickly, posting a 12% increase in sales nationwide in the first half of 2010, compared to 9% growth during the same period in 2009, according to the Brewers Association, a national trade group.

Bull says he's been brewing beers locally for about 20 years, working with some of Portland's breweries. Jagger describes himself as an entrepreneur who tasted Bull's lager recipe and fell in love with it.

In time, they say they'll introduce other German lagers, such as a schwarzbier, or black beer. "We'll exploit our unique niche of a lager," Jagger says.

The two hope to sell 400 barrels of beer their first year, or roughly 90,000 bottles. Their beer will be sold at restaurants, bars and high-end retail shops, and will be distributed by Mariner Distributors in Portland.

19 Окт. 2011



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