Russian breweries in hop distress

The Russian daily Kommersant reports possible problems for breweries with hop supplies. In a letter, the Russian Union of Brewers states that hop supplies at breweries could run out in the summer.

Some 7,000 to 7,500 tons of hops are used annually in Russian beers, Inside.beer reports today. Of these, 98% are imported. The main importing countries are Germany, the Czech Republic and the USA. All three countries are subject to strict economic sanctions and no longer supply Russia. The some first alternative to be taken is China, whose hop production cannot replace the shortfall.

It will take years before Russia itself can grow and harvest sufficient hops. So far, Russian hop acreage is just 350 hectares with a production of about 570 tons of hops . By comparison, Germany harvested about 48,500 tons from 20,500 hectares in 2019. Russian brewers have now turned to the government for help in finding alternative suppliers.

The Association of Russian Hop Producers estimates that it will be possible to increase production to 1,000 tons by 2030. This would require government subsidies of more than RUB 500 million (USD 6.4 million) annually over the next three years, Kommersant reports.

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