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Jax-Tiger
LSU Fan
Portland, OR
Member since Jan 2005
15672 posts

InBev and the hop market
Sorry if Germans, but AB InBev is acquiring rights to hops and shutting out craft brewers.

InBev corners the market

I didn't know about this, but I was looking at Great Notions website and read their description about one of their new beers.

quote:

Dirty South Hazy IPA 7.3% ABV Great Notion Brewing Portland, OR - Dirty South features a new South African hop variety called Southern Passion. In a "dirty" business deal, AB InBev commandeered the entire South African hops market. Luckily, we were able to grab some before they were gone for good. We get a unique mixture of guava, red berries, & melon. This beer is a salute to independent craft beer!
This post was edited on 1/3 at 1:46 pm


TH03
Iowa State Fan
Dallas
Member since Dec 2008
121540 posts
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re: InBev and the hop market
Wow. frick them.


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Y.A. Tittle
Winthrop Fan
Member since Sep 2003
65471 posts
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re: InBev and the hop market
There was a bunch of rumblings about this when they acquired Wicked Weed I remember.


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BugAC
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2007
30252 posts

re: InBev and the hop market
quote:

Sorry if Germans, but AB InBev is acquiring rights to hops and shutting out craft brewers.



They bought a hop farm previously owned by SABMiller/Coors. The hops were proprietary by SAB/Miller anyway, now they are proprietary for ABInbev. They aren't buying up hop farms in Yakima Valley. They bought a previously owned hop farm from another megaconglomerate for their beers in South Africa. The percentage of hops in S. Africa used in American beers are less than 1%.


Jax-Tiger
LSU Fan
Portland, OR
Member since Jan 2005
15672 posts

re: InBev and the hop market
quote:

They bought a hop farm previously owned by SABMiller/Coors. The hops were proprietary by SAB/Miller anyway, now they are proprietary for ABInbev. They aren't buying up hop farms in Yakima Valley. They bought a previously owned hop farm from another megaconglomerate for their beers in South Africa. The percentage of hops in S. Africa used in American beers are less than 1%.


But it sounds like they still cancelled the hop contracts that were previously in place for Modern Times, Cellarmaker, and other breweries.


TH03
Iowa State Fan
Dallas
Member since Dec 2008
121540 posts
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re: InBev and the hop market
They had hops allocated for craft breweries but AB seized them.


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The Spleen
Alabama Fan
Member since Dec 2010
19892 posts
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re: InBev and the hop market
It sucks, but it's business and the big brewers have been doing it for years in some form of fashion.


Jax-Tiger
LSU Fan
Portland, OR
Member since Jan 2005
15672 posts

re: InBev and the hop market
quote:

the big brewers have been doing it for years in some form of fashion.


It still needs to be pointed out when it happens.


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BugAC
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2007
30252 posts

re: InBev and the hop market
LINK

This link gives a better idea of what is going and isn't so one sided.


BugAC
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2007
30252 posts

re: InBev and the hop market
quote:

“This year, South Africa suffered from low yields,” wrote Willy Buholzer, A-B InBev’s global hops procurement director. “Previously, SAB has sold a small surplus of locally-grown hops to the market. Unfortunately this year we do not have enough to do so given the poor yield. More than 90 percent of our South African-grown hops will be used in local brands Castle Lager and Castle Lite, beers we’ve committed to brewing with locally-grown ingredients. In support of the local industry, we additionally sell hops to South African craft breweries.” He went on to explain that less than five percent would be allocated to other A-B InBev breweries outside of South Africa.


quote:

But this isn’t quite accurate. What every article has overlooked is that while American brewers, for now at least, can’t get their hands on South African hops, there are microbreweries that can—in South Africa. The country now boasts almost 200 microbreweries, a number that has increased from just 50 in 2013.

While some brewers utilize imported ingredients, many rely heavily on SAB—and now A-B InBev—for both malt and hops. The question of ingredients was of particular concern to South African microbrewers when the takeover was in progress last year, but their fears were somewhat assuaged by a clause in the agreement stating that “the Merged Entity shall continue to supply hops that are currently supplied by SABMiller to Small Beer Producers on the same terms and conditions as currently offered by SABMiller or otherwise on reasonable commercial terms.” The supply of malt was similarly protected, albeit only for five years.


quote:

Just why the allocations seem to be so hit or miss is not known, although A-B InBev’s statement does seem to hold some water. The southern region of South Africa has been suffering a serious drought since late 2016, with major water restrictions in place in some areas. One local hop farmer —a supplier to SAB Hop Farms who asked not to be named —said that the weather has had a serious effect on this year’s crop, which was harvested in February.

“This year we had the worst yields in many years because of the drought,” he says. “I was down over 50 percent in one field and not much better in my others. Our industry was down a lot this year, so it’s to be expected that there would be a huge shortage of hops.


quote:

In March 2017, as the South African harvest drew to a close, A-B InBev hosted its annual hop workshop among the hop fields of the Outeniqua Valley, the only region of South Africa with a suitable climate for hop production. During the event, A-B InBev announced it would be expanding the hop farms by 100 hectares and upping production from 850 metric tons to 1,000 metric tons. Most interesting though, was the announcement that 250 metric tons per year would be reserved for export.


quote:

When all is said and done, this furor was never really about South African hops. Few international breweries use them and even then only in one-off or occasional beers. Of course, craft brewers are always looking to innovative, but I doubt anyone will be truly mourning the loss of their Southern Passion Pale Ale or African Queen IPA when there are so many other great hops out there.

The fallout is more a matter of principle—the principle of A-B InBev attempting to control the supply of ingredients to the industry, a question that some posed after the company recently announced plans to acquire Wicked Weed Brewing of Asheville, North Carolina. And as worrying as this is to small brewers in the U.S., it’s infinitely more of a concern to South African brewers, whose remote location and weak currency make at least a partial reliance on these ingredients a key part of their survival.


Jax-Tiger
LSU Fan
Portland, OR
Member since Jan 2005
15672 posts

re: InBev and the hop market
quote:

When all is said and done, this furor was never really about South African hops. Few international breweries use them and even then only in one-off or occasional beers.


We actually do get a lot of locally brewed beers using South African, New Zealand, and Australian hops. Breakside has been doing this quite a bit, although they are one offs, for the most part. I think some of those hops are actually grown in Oregon/Washington, with SA/AUS being the country where the hop was developed.


CoachChappy
LSU Fan
Boudin Capitol of the World
Member since May 2013
13771 posts
 Online 

re: InBev and the hop market
quote:

We get a unique mixture of guava, red berries, & melon. T

I’m sorry. Are they making fruit punch or beer?


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The Spleen
Alabama Fan
Member since Dec 2010
19892 posts
 Online 

re: InBev and the hop market
quote:


It still needs to be pointed out when it happens



It does, but it also doesn't need to be hyperbolic about it shutting down craft brewers. Sure it sucks for those brewers using these specific hops, but it's not a huge threat to the craft beer world.

I specifically remember a similar story about Budweiser about 15 years ago buying a bunch of cascade hops to pinch Sierra Nevada's production of their Pale Ale. It was mostly unfounded.


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BugAC
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2007
30252 posts

re: InBev and the hop market
quote:

We actually do get a lot of locally brewed beers using South African, New Zealand, and Australian hops.


I've never really seen SA hops very prevalent down here. NZ and AUS on the other hand, are widely distributed here. Again, im in Louisiana and you're on the west coast, though.


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List Eater
Houston Astros Fan
Htown
Member since Apr 2005
18365 posts
 Online 

re: InBev and the hop market
InBev shitlording all the hops? Say it ain't so!


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