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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.

Mendicant monks on labels…

Numerous mendicant orders – Franciscans, Carmelites, Dominicans, and Augustinians – left a huge trace in the history of mankind, but a smaller trace in brewing, for one simple reason. Unlike Benedictines they considered economic activity subsidiary, distracting brothers from way to God. Some orders didn't even own property though it wasn't an immutable rule. Nevertheless, a number of the largest beer brands are connected with mendicant orders due to use of their names.
Catholic Bavaria, of course, is notable by a lot of brands appealing to church. Faces of monks on their labels became world renowned "face" of the Bavarian beer. Especially it is worth accentuating Munich three of Augustiner, Franziskaner, Paulaner, and also Kapuziner from Kulmbach. However, today the church doesn't take any part in the production of these brands.


Similarly, since 1328 up to the secularization of 1803 the monastery of Saint Augustine brotherhood brewed beer with the corresponding name – Augustiner. After the brewery was transferred from the church to private hands there was a repeated change of the production site, but the name of the brand remained and there remained an image of an elderly monk on the label.
28Wheat Franziskaner beer – another wordly known brand, has only indirect relation to church, despite the image of the Franciscan monk. In the Middle Ages this order tried to disassociate itself from economic activity. This ancient brewery was simply founded near the monastery.

One of followers of Saint Francis and his ideas of monastic poverty was also called Francis. He lived in the city of Paola and founded the Order of Minim Brothers known for the asceticism in the beginning, and subsequently for its scientific and teaching activity. At the beginning of the XVII century Minim monks founded a brewery in Munich, which soon moved into private hands. But Francis from Paola is represented on the label of the largest exporting brand – wheat Paulaner beer.

Bavarian company Kulmbacher Brauerei in 1987 expanded its range, producing a wheat sort of beer – Kapuziner, thereby occupying a free niche among known Catholic orders. The Capuchins were one of the largest branches of Franciscans and were actively engaged in missionary activity. According to the site of Kulmbacher Brauerei, their beer is brewed by ancient rules of abbey brewing, in particular in traditions of "the country of Capuchins", where the roots of German wheat beer originate.

A similar example of name use of a mendicant order is not German, but Belgian Triple Karmeliet beer. Their succession is that brewers of the Bosteels Brewery company appeal to the original recipe of beer which is dated 1679. According to the legend, it originates from the monastery of Carmelites in Dendermonde, Belgium. However in that case the brewers didn’t need monk’s image.

Next: ...and real monks ->



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