Past Issues - 2009
Brewers' Guardian issues from 2009 including features information. Back copies are available to order - please write to email@example.com with details.
THE BREWERY OF THE FUTURE
Change is coming: Change is Inevitable. As global demand for beer inches nearer the two billion hectolitre mark, in combination with cost shocks and environmental and legislative pressures, change is being driven ever forward: change in how beer is produced, in how beer is packaged, in how it is served. Even notions of what constitutes 'beer' are changing. In this special edition, Brewers' Guardian surveys the drivers behind the relentless march of progress.
The Brewery of the Future may already exist. The Martens family has been in the brewing business for generations, longer than better known Guinness, but when it comes to thinking about the future its enviable heritage poses no obstacles. Managing director Jan Martens has embraced continuous brewing, crossflow filtration, plastic packaging and other state-of-the-art practices with enthusiasm. Editor Larry Nelson reports.
BOTH EYES ON THE FUTURE
When it comes to the Brewery of the Future the crystal ball is murky, consensus elusive. There is not one blueprint for the future, but many. Brewers' Guardian puts often uttered statements on the shape of brewing tomorrow to some very different brewers.
UC Davis professor Charlie Bamforth continues his exploration of the industry's relationship to societal stakeholders, examining the agendas of American neo-prohibitionist lobby groups.
Not so much 'guest' as stepping into the limelight. Brewers' Guardian editor Larry Nelson on the lessons gleaned in researching this issue, plus what's next in our industry coverage.
Britain's brewing industry is, in a word, beleaguered, with falling sales, inflation-busting duty increases and a record-setting rate of pub closures. Against this, Molson Coors (UK) is capturing price increases, eschewing low-price business. Chief executive Mark Hunter tells editor Larry Nelson how it's done.
HOP MARKET REPORT
Acreage increases and upped alpha acid have reaped huge surpluses in today's global hop market. Deputy editor Rob Brown asks if equilibrium can ever be achieved.
DRINKTEC 09 REVIEW
Last month's drinktec 09 exhibition in Munich attracted some 60,000 visitors throughout the week, 10,000 shy of expectations. But exhibitors and organisers say this year's event was marked by the quality, and not quantity, of visitors.
BEER & GOVERNMENT
The beer industry has long been viewed as a cash-cow by policy makers. In this special feature, Charlie Bamforth looks at the issues in the often fraught relationship between brewer and bean-counter.
President of Hong Kong based consultancy Seema International Glen Steinman, comments on how the gap between volumes and profits can be narrowed in China.
JEAN-FRANÇOIS VAN BOXMEER
Heineken is a brewer that combines a fierce commitment to traditional ideals of brewing excellence, yet surprises with a willingness to embrace new technologies, as described by their visionary CEO. Editor Larry Nelson finds out more.
BITBURGER STAYS THE COURSE
In a volatile German market for beer, Bitburger has been a constant, with the brand a byword for premium quality in pilsners. Family owned since its first brew in 1817, today's Bitburger has expanded into other beer styles, reviving forgotten favourites such as Scharzbier. Conrad Seidl met with Dr Werner Wolf, Bitburger's new speaker of the managing board.
THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING BEER MARKET
Germany remains one of the world's largest beer markets, yet per capita, consumption has declined by a fifth since reunification. Simon Jones reports on how the country's brewers are responding to changing consumer tastes.
SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY II
Alcohol has never been the friend of bible thumpers but, as Charlie Bamforth discovers, the mixing of faith and moderate consumption doesn't always result in the weeping of angels or the snarl of demons.
DRINKING WITH THE EYES
Brewing a good beer is only part of the battle in a saturated market. Today, brewers crave bottles that lure drinkers across the shop-floor, as if with a flirtatious wink. Not only must they look good, increasingly bottles must be of dainty weight, sensuous touch, eco-conscientiousness and shelf friendly shape. Ben McFarland reports.
BREWING ENZYMES: A CONSENSUS OF OPINION
Process aid suppliers are in agreement that demand for their products is increasing worldwide as brewers struggle to make the most out of increasingly expensive, out of specification and scarce raw materials. Yet brewers remain reluctant to discuss the use of enzymes in public, say suppliers, despite the environmental positives use of their products provide. Deputy editor Rob Brown finds out more.
German brewers would do well to take note of Italian brewing creativity. Journalist Conrad Seidl, better known as 'der Bierpapst', gives us the reasons why.
THE THAI BEER MARKET
Volume growth in the Thai beer duopoly has stalled. The focus of the country's brewers, beset by heavy taxation and draconian rules on how beer can be marketed, is now on value, not volume. Deputy editor Rob Brown speaks to ThaiBev and Singha about the challenges ahead.
Thailand is no brewing back water when it comes to technical and process innovations. The technical supremos of Singha and ThaiBev share their outlooks on training and innovation with Rob Brown.
Let's face it; talk of 'sustainability' at times verges on the glib. "I don't really know what it means" confided one Southest Asian brewer to Brewers' Guardian during VLB Berlin's Bangkok brewers' conference in June. "It's just a very in-trend word for today. That's why it's used so often". Read our feedback from the event.
BEER & THE MEDIA
Charlie Bamforth kicks off his new series on Social Sustainability, examining the brewing industry's relationship within the context of larger societal concerns. The good professor loses sleep over a constant vexation: why is wine treated so much better by the media than needlessly humble beer?
LABELLING: THE PRESSURE SENSITIVE DEBATE
For some time, industry-insiders have been predicting that traditional wet-glue labelling is about to come unstuck. But stalled by the recession and pockets of change-adverse brewers, the rise of pressure sensitive labels has so far failed to live up to the prophecies of dominance. Ben McFarland reports.
BREWING TRAINING & EDUCATION 2009-10
This changing world requires a rapidly broadening set of skills. The question for the operators of today is where to access that knowledge. Here's Brewers' Guardian's annual rundown of what's on offer across the world, spanning three continents and covering all from introductory tasters to PhD programmes, live-in courses, to distance learning.
Journalists who care about beer battle reflex negative stories and uncaring editors. Four-times British Beer Writer of the Year Alastair Gilmour gives us his point of view.
drinktec preview 2009
Four years since the last time drinktec touched down in Munich's New Trade Fair Centre, this year's event will bring together the latest technological advancements in the wonderful process of brewing beer. Running from the 14th-19th September, there are 12 exhibition halls to navigate around.
Old–style charm meets new world savvy. Welcome to Duvel Moortgat, a Belgian brewer succeeding with brand quality, an innovative culture, and a willingness to expand by acquisitions both at home and abroad. Editor Larry Nelson meets with CEO Michel Moortgat.
AB InBev has been roundly criticised in the media for extending payment terms to 120 days but, as Brewers' Guardian has learnt, they're not alone, as Carlsberg and Heineken have also extended payment periods. Is this the new industry norm? Report by deputy editor, Rob Brown.
Welcome to the latest frontier in marketing, videos that prove to be so original that they receive the ultimate seal of approval by having people pass them on to their contacts. The catch is embracing the surrender of control – yet there are ways of improving the odds of success, explains marketing editor Pete Brown.
The future is clear, at least partially, regarding filtration technology. Kieselguhr is on the way out, condemned by a desire for more ecofriendly methods. What replaces diatomaceous earth is another matter, however. Deputy editor Rob Brown surveys industry opinion.
EUROPEAN MARKET LEADERS
Despite the advertising spend and resulting visibility enjoyed by premium international brands, beer remains a ‘national’ product, as evidenced by the variety of brands by country in our Stats Snapshots report.
In a consolidating industry it can be dangerous to be too inward-looking, no matter the size of the company, even those global in scope. There are diminishing returns on intellectual capital for the self-congratulatory, warns Anders Hummer, vice president of international consultancy Alectia Brew.
TONY VAN KRALINGEN
As his title suggests, SABMiller's new director of human resources and supply chain has a lot on his plate. This broad remit is no accident: Tony van Kralingen is busy globalising systems, starting with procurement. Deputy editor Rob Brown finds out more.
Following on from April's look at environmental performance, Glynn Davis reviews the Corporate Social Responsibility standards and objectives set by the world's leading multinational brewers, as evidenced in their annual reports.
WORT BOILING INNOVATION
Despite its energy intensive requirements, wort boiling is perhaps the least understood part of the brewing process. But help is at hand: as UC Davis professor Charlie Bamforth discovers, there are energy-efficient systems entering the market.
A pairing back of central services by brewers has led to an increased demand for consultants to provide not only forward-looking planning but also trouble-shooting advice. Of course, there's a burgeoning number of consultants, reports deputy editor Rob Brown.
EBC CONGRESS PREVIEW
Hamburg is arguably the most cosmopolitan city in Germany, attracting tourists from around the world seeking relaxed urban chic. It is small wonder, then, that organisers of the 32nd Congress of the European Brewery Convention chose this city - make the most of your time with our guide.
EBC executive officer John Brauer considers the importance of sustainability as a guiding concept for the brewing industry - and hopes that it's not just a public-relations driven flavour of the month concern.
Carlsberg Group's supply chain is on a journey, working to create the operating and management systems as well as instilling the mindset and ethos necessary to make lean manufacturing an on-going reality. It falls to senior vice-president Kasper Madsen to drive this process. Editor Larry Nelson finds out more.
Being green is much more than just lip service amongst the world's leading multinational brewers, to judge by the aggressive targets published in the latest environmental reports. Ian Martin surveys the landscape, with just an occasional middle-aged squint hindering his research.
INDIA: SUPPLY CHAIN
SABMiller has built on its successful partnerships with farmers in Zambia, Uganda and South Africa, working with Indian farmers to improve what were admittedly substandard crops. The results have been impressive. Christopher Gilmore reports.
BARLEY MARKET REPORT
Something akin to an historic 'normal' market is Roger Martin's surprise finding, despite some contracts being cancelled or shipments delayed from maltsters. The situation is far from perfect, with Australian crops still suffering from drought.
HOPS MARKET REPORT
A bountiful harvest at the end of 2008 has had ramifications for 2009 plantings with small reductions in acreage in the northwest United States and Germany. Deputy editor Rob Brown touches base with suppliers worldwide, and notes an increased use of hop extracts.
STATS SNAPSHOT: THE BALTIC MARKETS
Per capita beer consumption rivals that of more mature Western European markets, with BBH in competition with smaller rivals Olvi and Royal Unibrew. Check out our stats for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Why is beer so into sex when what is needed is more love and romance? It sounds like a Mills & Boon plot synopsis, but it's not. Rupert Ponsonby makes the case for treating beer with a little more respect!
BREWING IN VIETNAM
Vietnam's rush to premium beer brands has been curbed, at least temporarily, by the global downturn. However, the South-East Asian country's market has plenty of room for growth. George W. Russell examines the recent changes in Vietnam's fragmented brewing industry in three major markets: Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and the southern boom town of Nha Trang.
Sometimes there's only one question that needs to be asked - what's new, different, or innovative? OK, that's three questions for the price of one, but as deputy editor Rob Brown discovers on his survey of yeast's leading lights, there are many more answers.
It's the flip side of loss reduction: Ian Smith and David Quain return in this issue to outline how best to sweat one's brewing assets, ensuring optimal use of capacity.
Despite the twin pressures of the economic downturn and cash-strapped brewers seeking price breaks, dispense system suppliers continue to come up with eye catching innovations. Deputy editor Rob Brown reports on what's new above - and below - the bar.
Can you guess the connection between direct mail marketing and a brand's internet presence? Marketing editor Pete Brown argues that neither is used to its full potential.
The UK's alcoholic drinks industry is on a PR offensive, elbowing its way in front of government ministers to make the case that recent excise duty increases are crippling their businesses and damaging a way of life embodied in that great British institution, the pub. Deputy editor Rob Brown reports on the debate.
WOMEN AND BEER
Here's a sobering thought: half the world's population is comprised of women, and the vast majority of them don't like beer. On the bright side, the industry is slowly waking up to the potential of this untapped market and is developing female-friendly tastes. Editor Larry Nelson surveys these long overdue initiatives.
Speaking of untapped markets, roughly 70% of the world's pubs, bars and restaurants sell less than 17 litres per day. That's normally not sufficient volume to make the economics viable for draught beer but, as deputy editor Rob Brown reports, new dispense systems are coming to market, enlarging the pool of on-trade possibilities.
Small can be beautiful, certainly in combination with big and bigger breweries. We're speaking, of course, about the joys of pilot breweries. Once simply considered a lucky brewer's 'toy box', today pilots perform a plethora of pertinent tasks. Deputy editor Rob Brown takes the measure of the modern pilot brewery.
PROCESS LOSS REDUCTION
Seemingly small marginal production improvements can considerably enhance the bottom line: a mere 1% reduction in process losses can flatter profitability by tens of thousands of pounds. Ian Smith and David Quain offer here a step-by-step look at best practice, from raw materials through to packaging processes.
AUSTRALIAN BEER MARKET
Total consumption in the Australian beer market has been a model of top line consistency over the last decade, although there have been underlying preference shifts. Our statistics reveal all.
Making beer attractive to women doesn't have to be unduly complicated. Educating both genders that beer isn't fattening is a good starting point; stocking pubs and bars with attractive glassware is even better, argues Ros Shiel, as she decants her half pint into the nearest wine glass.
NEWSMAKER OF THE YEAR
It's hard to imagine a bigger story in terms of industry consolidation than the headline news of 2008, InBev's acquisition of Anheuser-Busch, creating a behemoth that brews one in four of the world's beers. For his audaciousness A-B InBev CEO Carlos Brito is our Newsmaker of the Year. Report by deputy editor Rob Brown.
Pick an issue for 2009, the issue that defines the year, and there's a good chance that it will centre on the brewing industry's environmental performance. Brewers' Guardian's Pete Brown reports on the tenor of the debate on stage at the recent EBC symposium.
BEER & THE ENVIRONMENT
Here's a radical thought: could it be one day that co-products generated by the brewing process be worth more than the beer produced? UC Davis professor Charlie Bamforth concludes Beer and the Environment on a typically controversial note.
BRAU BEVIALE 2008
There's a good chance that more than a few readers are still recovering from the ardours of the most recent edition of Brau Beviale. Here's a reminder of what was on offer, what caught the eye of Brewers Guardian's writers as innovative, different, or step change.
Brewers' Guardian, along with other opinion leaders, has been fighting for years to have beer matched with food, yet the concept remains far too alien at grassroots level. Pete Brown takes matters into his own hands - and gains a breakthrough insight.