Good news for trade professionals: Italians prefer light Italian beers! According to AssoBirra’s 2018 Annual Report, general beer sales grew by 3.2%, thanks to a legion of beer consumers and enthusiasts of beer dispensing equipment. Thinking that beer consumption – constantly ousted by wine on Italian tables – could explode in Italy seemed impossible only a short while ago.
Even more encouraging: the 6.6% growth inexports (as opposed to imports only up 1.2%) and production up4.7%. Over the last 5 years, the “special” beers grew by 115%, whilst traditional beers are being drunk increasingly also in autumn and winter, which is confirmation that beer consumption is becoming less seasonal.
Curiosity, entrepreneurship and the desire of experiment are the key factors of the art of brewery expansion.
The entire sector has benefited from these figures, from agriculture, where Italian malt production has increased (+5.5%), to distribution, to employment.
The growth in demand has created about 700 new jobs in the industry. Italy is now 9th in Europe in terms of production volumes, whereas it is in 5th place in terms of numbers of breweries.
One extremely interesting figure provided by AssoBirra relates to the craft beer sector: Italian microbreweries grew by an encouraging 4.3% compared with 2017. These new businesses have been mainly set up by young people and have captured 3.1% of the market. There are 862 microbreweries, 692 of which make craft beers whilst 170 are brew pubs.
Lombardy, Piedmont, Veneto and Tuscany are in descending order the regions with the greatest number of microbreweries whereas Campania is the leading region in the south with 55 businesses making craft beers and running brew pubs. And it is on this latest aspect of the growth factor in our sector that Celli wants to focus on.
The recent but impetuous growth of agricultural beer production in Italy represents, on the one hand, a peculiarity in the international framework of the "craft beer revolution", on the other hand, a real opportunity for diversification of production and income for many agricultural Italian entrepreneurs. And this is an opportunity that still has ample room for development, especially in terms of quantitative growth and qualitative improvement of the cereal matrix. In the first case, consider that in Italy over 80% of barley cultivation is still destined for zootechnical use and that the conditions for a substantial increase in the areas to be allocated exist in many regions and territories. to brewing barley.
The presence of a small and highly standardized number of types of malt produced and traded internationally suggests the existence of a still unexplored market potential for those micro-alterations which, linked to specific territories, are able to transform small quantities of cereals with qualitative characteristics at the same time peculiar and very high for the production of craft beers. The research and production of new Italian varieties of barley malt, to make craft beers even more "local" is, in fact, only at the beginning. This would allow, among other things, to significantly improve the sustainability of the supply chain, through the creation of a national supply chain, from the cultivation of barley to its transformation into malt. Precisely the opportunity to explore these potentials should motivate coordinated political action between the Italian regions and the various institutions involved (for example, research centers).
Despite being among the most historic and virtuous, the Italian chain of breeding barley and its subsequent malting - explained Antonio Catalani, vice president of AssoBirra with responsibility for Supply Chains and Food Safety - has never been fully understood and adequately so far. supported by the institutions Italy imports two thirds of its malt needs and as an Association we have been firmly asking for years that all those agricultural supply chains that meet both the traceability requirements of the raw material and the concepts of sustainability, diversification and soil protection be supported. On the eve of the CAP reform, we hope that the brewing barley production chain can be supported on an equal footing with the others.
THE IMPORTANCE OF A GOOD BEER DISPENSING EQUIPMENT
With more than 40 years of experience behind it, the Celli Group and its network are considered to be bywords for quality, reliability, design and innovation in the dispensing world.
Why not promote craft quality and Italian products as well as incentivizing the mission of converting drinkers from bottled to draught beer? Draught beer is often far superior thanks to its pure, fresh flavour, and while its taste essentially remains unchanged, environmental impact and energy consumption are drastically reduced. Waste management also becomes more sustainable and the bartender’s job more valued and engaging.
Thanks to a tailored hire proposal, microbreweries could reduce the initial investment, eliminate warehouse stocks but above all profit from installation, maintenance and sanitization services that can be customized.