Craft beer in Brazil has experienced a surge in popularity, with the number of registered craft breweries doubling between 2017 and 2020. Seeking to capitalize upon consumer interest, Hop Growers of America (HGA) has recognized Brazil as a target market since 2018. To engage with the industry, HGA has offered technical seminars funded by the Market Access Program (MAP), which have expanded opportunities for U.S. hop exports in Brazil.
Among the key interactions HGA leads in Brazil is the facilitation of technical seminars equipping brewers with the knowledge to experiment with recipes using U.S. hops. Delivered by distinguished American brewmasters, these seminars include a lecture and a sensory evaluation.
In 2021, HGA organized four technical seminars in Brazil, including a total of 216 targeted brewer participants. Nearly all of the 2021 seminar participants reported a better understanding of the characteristics of U.S. hops after the seminar. Follow-up with participants afterward confirmed that they intend to boost their volume of U.S. hops, with some brewers reporting 2022 forecasts of up to 400% increases beyond 2021 import purchases.
In 2021, U.S. hop exports to Brazil increased 28% by volume and almost 15% by value from the 2020 export figures, reflecting a growing demand in Brazil for this integral beer ingredient. HGA invested $67,168 of MAP funding in technical seminars throughout 2021 and witnessed an increase in U.S. hop exports worth $5.17 million.
During the seminars, facilitators highlight the unique traits of U.S. hops, discuss applicable brewing approaches, conduct a hop rub, and lead participants through beer tasting. Each component serves a role in enabling brewers to translate specific hop qualities to the finished product.