Roman Gushchin, co-owner of Rewort Brewery near Moscow, told socialbites.ca that prices for domestic craft beer have already increased by an average of a quarter.
All the materials we craft, the price of raw materials increased by 25-30 percent. Yeast, malt, hops, fruit purees, juices. Everything but water,” Gushchin said.
Craft beer production now uses both Russian and imported malt. For some Russian manufacturers, the cost of domestic products has doubled. If barley is not foreign, why did they raise prices so much? Due to imported equipment. And it will soon need money to renovate,” the brewer said.
According to him, for example, the cost of Polish imported malt rose from 79 to 98 euro cents per kilogram.
“Furthermore, the ruble has fallen by a third against the euro and now the price of imported malt is very high,” Gushchin said.
The contribution of malt to the cost of boutique beers is around 60%. The share of malt cost is lower in light (classic) beers. On average – 20%, the specified brewer.
Hops are the brewer’s headache
Brewers have no less problems with hops, the other most important ingredient in craft beverages. “Domestic poor quality. But it is also missing. Growth is unprofitable and the state does not subsidize,” Gushchin explained.
According to established practice, Russian brewers buy hops in the USA, Europe, South Africa, New Zealand… Hop prices increased by 10% in March compared to February. If we also take into account well Against the ruble dollar, hop prices eventually rose by 25-30%.
Various fruit purees, juices and other additives are used in craft beer production. The brewer added that the prices of these ingredients have also increased in recent weeks.
According to the craft brewer, author of the Telegram channel “Prosto Pro Beer” Alexander Savitsky (beer is produced at different breweries according to their own recipes – socialbites.ca), it is impossible for a craft brewer to refuse even the ingredients that he has. There was a sharp increase in price.
“It is generally accepted that craft beer is a drink, the creation of which is motivated by something more than just commercial profit. But what kind of craft will it be in terms of organoleptics (the method of determining the quality of a product based on the organs of the touch – socialbites.ca), mass “store” if it is approaching varieties, ”the blogger explained.
Craft beer differs from the classic camp beer in the mass market segment with its complex and original recipe. “Craft beer is beer brewed in a small volume based on non-standard recipes and ingredients. Spices, syrups (e.g. maple syrup), cocoa beans, vegetables, herbs and many other ingredients are added to the craft,” said Savitsky.
He remembered times when his colleagues were experimenting with exotic materials like M&M’s or Snickers. In addition to sweet, there are also sour-salt beers. For example, several Russian craft breweries produce Gose based on tomato juice.
As in the USSR: with your three liters
In order to maintain customer loyalty, some bar owners have not yet canceled their marketing campaigns – for example, “you get two liters – a liter as a gift.” “But the times when they called us and ordered 20 liters to wash in the country for a day are a thing of the past. People last walked on February 23, and on March 8, sales not only grew, but also fell by 10-15%, ”concluded Adams, owner of the Popeye pub and cafe in Svetlana, Moscow Region, Sergiev Posad. According to him, trying to keep prices for the craft.
st. Valentin Khed, manager of the Beergeek bar near Nevsky Prospekt in St. Petersburg, pointed to the inevitable reduction in the craft beer production line. The reason is the same – the increase in the cost of the drink. And the increase in price on store shelves due to distribution problems. Birgik sells up to 350 domestic and foreign craft beers to date.
He noted that Kraft is becoming more expensive than the usual classics at large breweries. “Now, after the price increase, I almost don’t order imported craft. Too expensive even for wealthy consumers. “The prices of some brands have increased by 35 percent,” he said.
A bottle of Czech or Belgian beer 0.33 liters now starts at 350 rubles. Banks and bottles that cost 450 rubles in January-February are now sold for 650-700 rubles.
“The situation is worse now than it was in 2014,” Head said.
The lower the pipe, the thinner the smoke
“There are also issues with logistics cost. Contractors are not ready to work without upfront payment. At the same time, owners of small breweries do not have free money, most of them work with borrowed funds,” said Savitsky.
Someone will (partially or completely) revise the assortment line, someone will limit himself to raising prices for products, someone will re-profile, Savitsky listed the options for the survival of Russian manufacturers.
“One thing is clear: no one will be able to work as before. Complex varieties, especially those with a large amount of hops and fruit additives, will be many times less, they will be replaced by simpler varieties. ”
At the same time, HoReCa could become a growth point for craft brewers: restaurants and bars, hotels are now rapidly losing their usual imported brands (for example, Black Cab and London Pride from British manufacturer Fuller’s) and will have to turn around. We are sure they are interested in local craft beers. According to them, some domestic craft breweries are quite capable of providing an alternative to public catering.
“Another question: Will consumers be willing to pay for Russian-made “Irish” or “Belgian” beer? Savitsky concluded.
There is another alternative, as market participants and experts have pointed out. Craft companies may have to switch to the production of non-alcoholic beverages such as lemonade, kvass or low-alcohol hard mineral water. They are cheaper to manufacture and do not require large investments in the improvement of imported equipment.