New Challenges of the Сraft Beer Market in the Analytics of VI Forum Brewers and Restaurateurs: the Course Is on Flagship Varieties and Steady Quality and Beer Repeatability

25 October 2018

10-11 October, Forum for Brewers and Restaurateurs “Beer and Brewery: Success in Business Is Guaranteed, if …” has brought together in the city of Kharkov, owners and managers of restaurants-brewers, experienced and beginner brewers, technologists and marketers of middle and small breweries, Ukrainian and foreign manufacturers of equipment, technologies, raw materials for brewing, and other players of this market.  About 200 participants and 24 manufacturing companies from 14 regions of Ukraine, from Belarus, Denmark, Italy, Czech Republic have participated in the forum. Everything is for the sake of the development of craft brewing in the country and for each individual business – brewing, restaurant, retail. The motto of the two-day event was as follows: “Minimum of Advertising – Maximum Communication, Helpful Experience, Unique Information.”

Together with brewers, the Forum organizers including the team of the project “Technologies and Innovations” year by year is working to create a new market and culture of consumption of craft beer. It was one of the purposes to set up such projects as Forum for Brewers and Restaurateurs, tasting competition Eastern European Beer Award, as well as magazine  Beer Technologies and Innovations, and the site of the same name.

During the welcoming speech, the founder of the project “Technologies and Innovations”, and the author of the idea of ​​the Forum Kateryna KONEVA said following:

“I remembered the history of our forums, where the first one has been held in spring 2016, Lviv, and brought together about 120 participants. Afterward, important legislative acts on changes in craft brewing have been adopted. The second Forum was held in Lviv with the support of Kumpel Group, which was remembered by our first beer competition, but not yet professional. The next Forum, that has taken place in Kyiv, with the support of the Lisopylka brewery and the Syndicate Beer & Grill restaurant-brewery. Meanwhile, during the last forum, the participants have voted for setting up a professional independent tasting competition that has already been successfully held within the IV Forum in Rivne. The venue of the V Forum was held this spring in restaurant complex Trypillian Sun. During which we firstly held a section for chefs of beer restaurants.  Moreover, we have decided to organize it every spring. Thus, 213 participants are participating in this forum in Kharkiv. Today, it is a crowded, friendly and interesting atmosphere!”

Audience of the 6th Forum are representatives of restaurants-breweries, pubs, small, medium and large breweries, homebrewers from Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odessa, Kherson, Rivne, Sumy, Poltava, Slavyansk, Lviv, Mykolaiv, Lutsk, Chernigov, Zaporizhia, Ivano-Frankivsk, Dnipro, Cherkasy, Ternopil, including village Kvasy of the Transcarpathian region, Berezno, Mariupol, Severodonetsk, Luben, Bakhmut, Okhtyrka, Izmail and Minsk (Belarus).

The founder of family restaurants AltBier, General Partner, Sergiy KOVALENKO has said: “We are engaged in a very important and necessary business because we brew unfiltered, healthy beer without preservatives.  At the same time, we also enlarged in Ukraine the range of beer varieties up to 1.5 – 2 thousand, before we have mostly light, dark and wheat beer.  But we will be a worthy rival in that case when we compete with mass-market beer but not with each other. It means that our joint competitions, collaborative brewing, and events demonstrate to the consumer that craft beer is better than any others. “

We have chosen the most current topics for the conference day and invited well-known speakers.  They shared with us by own experience and knowledge in beer production, market monitoring, analytics, sales secrets. A new challenge for brewers is to achieve a steady quality.

It’s simply not possible to talk about the Forum in the context of the East European Beer Award. After all, the fact that the competition preceded the Forum, nonetheless most participants were contestants and tasters, what is very important for a better understanding of the Ukrainian craft beer market in whole. During the tasting competition, many new questions arose in brewers that they could discuss or find out from first hand. Having regard to the fact that at once 265 different beers have been estimated in one place, that is really a great market analytics.


Experts have come up to the conclusion that today the beer quality is higher and the achievement of a steady quality comes to the fore, including repeatability in taste and other organoleptic indicators.

An expert in beer quality, Valentine MIKUSEVYCH said: “To brew good beer is one thing, but brew beer many time the same way is much more difficult. As you should learn and understand very well the technological processes and only then you will be able to brew one quality beer according to taste and other indicators that it will find its consumer in the further.

The chief brewer of the Bierwelle brewery, Sergiy KOVTUNENKO has thought about how modern brewer can find consensus between modern equipment and creativity. He duly noted that equipment and innovative technologies allow more thinking, fantasizing, giving attention to creativity, freeing from some routine manual processes.

Technological Solutions of the New Generation

Within the framework of a Technological section “Beer Quality – Above Everything!”, there were presented new modern technological modules from the company Alfa Laval for craft brewing, as well as bottling lines from the leading Italian manufacturer Ferrero SRL, and laboratory solutions for the brewing business from Donau Lab Ukraine, including the production of freezers, beer coolers, beer columns from UBC Group.

Manager of the company Ferrero SRL, Oleg BASHTANAR has noted that it is impossible to approach with the same criteria and parameters in craft beer production and bottling that were previously used in the mass-market if you offer an expensive product on the market.

During the exhibition, domestic and European manufacturers of machinery, technologies, raw materials, brewing equipment in marking, closure, have presented their innovations, achievements, research, unique products. Moreover, the company A-Profi has introduced a great range of products for brewing, in particular, dry yeast as a novelty. Meanwhile, the company Malteurop Ukraine has introduced the basic malts and a line of special malt during an exhibition.

The company Donau Lab Ukraine has demonstrated laboratory instruments for monitoring key indicators, in particular, the advanced analyzer Alex-500, which can be used for beer, wine, cider, and distillates, together with a compact backpack for it.

The domestic company MagNum-beer has demonstrated a facility for saturating coffee with nitrogen, which can also be used for beer. A new line of glass bottles of different sizes and shapes for beer was offered by the Gostomel glass factory “Vetropack”. EM CITI COMPANY has introduced a new development, a hand-operated beer bottling machine into glasses and PET bottles, as well as PET-kegs and packaging for them. The company Dominant has introduced equipment for marking bottles. The collection of beer attributes contained several thousand copies of labels from around the world demonstrated by the collector from Kharkiv Igor MURAVYOV. Belosvit Company provided for us the whole service assortment of snacks for beer and fitted products for beer shops and HoReCa.

The Best Beer Is That Which Is the Best Selling

One of the main topics of the Forum was “Sales and Marketing of Beer.” The moderator of this section was the founder of the project Public Tasting, Andriy YURAGO. Among the speakers, there was the store owner “Beer Craft” Volodymyr KHARCHENKO, with the speech about using of beer attributes, as well as an active promotion in social networks, proper beer presentation for sellers. Moreover, Dmytro NEKRASOV (FDB) has shared the secrets concerning how to brew a beer which surely will be sold out.

He said as follow, that it’s possible to reduce the cost of beer and get into the price range of 30-40 UAH in case of optimizing the production and implementing new technologies, because being at this price range, the customer has higher purchasing ability, by doing so, the brewer feels more independently.


As for the price 70-80 UAH, in fact, in neighboring Belarus these prices are valid. Our people a bit underestimate the product. Oksana ILGOVA ( Ale Point Brewery) has told about the experience of opening the first in the country regional beer trading network Tandem Plus in the symbiosis with own brewery. Denis Zhatkin the founder of a food pairing pub, who breaks stereotypes about craft, the owner the Ked’s pub, told more about an effective marketing strategy.

Moreover, he said: “A brewer who is at the start of his own business must be a businessman, and know that business consists of many factors, in particular, knowledge of management, marketing, technology. The product is not only the taste and flavor but what ways he uses for promoting own products to consumers. For brewers, I can advise starting with an understanding of own products line, in particular, from which it will consist of, including the target audience, and the ways of promotion. One more thing is very important what philosophy you are carrying as a brewer. “

Oleksandr Sedov (Red Door Pub) has prepared a genuine analysis of the Ukrainian craft market and found out the most popular among beer consumers according to the styles and brands. Moreover, the speaker has emphasized an important trend in the immediate future of the industry, that brewer should come over from constant experiments to brewing flagship beer varieties, consequently, to pick up the recipe and sharpen skills, that client wanted constantly buy it. The steady beer quality must be a keynote in the flagship varieties.

Within the framework of the Forum, tables for negotiations between trade networks and beer shops, beer distributors, in particular, “Beer Craft”, “Tandem Plus”, “Beer Shop” were operated.

Thus, brewers have got a unique chance directly negotiate about sales of their beer.

Contract Brewing – as an Opportunity for Development Without Huge Investments

Having regard to the fact that we couldn’t overlook one of the current themes of the Forum on contract brewing including its advantages and risks. Every year, more and more people are keen to brew craft, but not everybody has the opportunity to set up own brewery. And, as a good solution for homebrewer or a beginner, is to brew beer on the rental facilities of another craft brewery. Thus, Eugen BILICENKO, the owner of the brewery Didko has shared own experience of contract brewing on the facilities of plants in Dnipro, Kharkiv, and Ivano-Frankivsk. Moreover, a small brewery Copper Head has told about providing their capacity for contract brewing. According to the speakers, about 15 contract brewers are already working in Ukraine.


Evgen Bilichenko has also noted that contract brewing is a great way to increase own capacities to be known and experiment in brewing. In this case, the contractor finds yourself under the brand name of a brewery and uses their license, being in the legislative field. The brewer hopes that the concept of contract brewing and the mechanism for its legalization will appear in the law.

The Legal Section has devoted to the theme “Competitive Advantages of the Brand, or Do Not Let Someone Steal Your Idea.” The experts of the IP and Law firm Pakharenko & Partners, constant Legal Partner of the Forum, discussed the following issues, in particular, the original design of the craft brewery, and violations of intellectual property rights. Thus, the experts have proposed 10 basic tips concerning the effective and lawful promotion of beer brand in the social network.

Professional Staff for Production and for Breweries Is a Hot Topic

An important issue was the issues of staff, in particular, how to teach them and hold on the working place and how to set up the work with staff in beer restaurants, shops, and pubs. Moderator of the section was Yuriy SEMENOV, one of the founders of the Kiev Beer League, co-organizer of the East European Beer Award. Speakers Sergiy KOVALENKO (AltBier), Inna LAVRENOVA, Victor Vashchuk (PĚST Brewery) and Igor Sribny (HORECA Beer company) made a discussion concerning a number of issues, in particular, the prestige of  Brewer’s profession; whom and how to teach including theory and practice, and how to create a team.

Victor Vashchuk said: “Training of staff is a current issue for today. Only for the last year in Ukraine, about 20 new breweries appeared on the market that is why this issue is so actual for today. Because, when a person, who calls himself as a brewer does not know the basic knowledge, so theoretically he will brew a good beer, but he couldn’t understand why it so happened.”

Experts have presented new educational projects for brewers that already launched in the city of Kharkiv and Kyiv. It is a social project for students “NEW CRAFT”, initiated by the AltBier brand, based on the Institute chemical technologies and engineering of NTU KhPI with a training and experimental base at a new plant AltBier.

A 6-week postgraduate course was organized on the basis of the Department of Innovative Fermentation Production NUBiP, In Kyiv. Thus, the program includes 144 hours and brewing 4 beers at different breweries. After finished, students can get the specialty Master Brewer and a state certificate.

The Practical Part of VI Forum Has Become the Most Eventful in the History of the Project

By tradition, the second day is a practical one. At that day, the organizers wanted to show the city of Kharkiv on the other new side. There was a brewery with history, beer retail, craft bar, restaurants-brewers, two collaborative brewing at once! It should be noted, a separate excursion to the UBC COOL plant for introducing the production of freezers, beer coolers, beer columns. Moreover, a beer tour Craft Way included excursions to the production, tasting beer menu, with exclusive snacks and refined dishes. Participants of the beer tour have also visited Kharkiv yeast plant and brewery Pyvna Legenda, including Hop Pie, AltBier Craft Beer Bar, AltBier restaurant-brewery, and restaurant-brewery WATSON.

Together with the well-known brewers of Ukraine, the Forum participants have brewed two collaborative beers, the one is called International Amber Lager at the facilities of the Ale Point Brewery, and the second one is called Pumpkin Lager by means of a two-way method with adding cardamom at the restaurant-brewery AltBier.

We are proud that side by side with talented brewers and outstanding restaurateurs we continue developing further Ukrainian production of craft beer. We welcome all to the next VII Forum of brewers and restaurateurs, to be held on June 20 in Lviv. New topics, faces, acquaintances and interesting beer locations will be waiting for you!