CORPORATE IDENTITY AND BUSINESS ACTIVITIES
Who we are and what we do.
Joh. Barth & Sohn GmbH & Co. KG is part of the BARTH-HAAS GROUP.
The BARTH-HAAS GROUP is made up of several privately owned family companies. With around 100 employees, Joh. Barth & Sohn is a modern family-owned enterprise managed by the 7th and 8th generations of the founding family. Staying true to the motto, “That which you inherit from your fathers, you must earn in order to possess”, the shareholders of every generation have each made their contribution.
The motto “think global, act local” is reflected in our company’s strong rootedness in Franconia and Bavaria, coupled with our international orientation:
Founded in the Franconian town of Betzenstein in 1794, it was not long before the company moved to Nuremberg, the centre of the European hop trade at the time.
The close proximity to the Nuremberg hop market, a stock exchange-like institution, combined with relationships forged nationally and internationally in the old Nuremberg merchant tradition, enabled the company to develop continuously up until the turn of the 20th century.
With offices in New York, Strasbourg and Saaz, the foundation stone for international operations was laid early on.
The catastrophe of two world wars in the 20th century shook the company to its core. However, time and time again it was possible to re-establish the excellent long-standing contacts to the brewing industry around the world.
Hops are our world. We have developed from a hop marketer into a provider of services centred on hops as a raw material. Not only do we sell hop varieties and products – we create and produce them, too. It is important for us to constantly expand our hop and beer knowledge, as it is only by doing so that we are able to systematically expand the potential uses of hops through targeted innovations. This additional expertise in research and innovation makes us the best adviser for the brewing industry and craft beer scene.
With the most diverse product portfolio in the industry and with highly efficient, quality-oriented processing plants in all major hop-growing regions, Joh. Barth & Sohn has always been a reliable partner for its customers, making an important contribution to their hop supply security and to their economic success. Thanks to our presence on every continent, we can always be where our suppliers and customers are. BECAUSE YOUR BEER IS OUR PASSION.
BARTH-HAAS PRODUCT PORTFOLIO
The hop (Humulus lupulus) has been cultivated for centuries and is an important raw material for brewers. It was known to the ancient Greeks and Romans who used it as a vegetable and as a medicinal plant, however. The current practice of adding hops during the brewing process can be traced back to the Finns, Latvians, Estonians and Wends.
It is believed that the use of hops made its way from the Baltic region to the West sometime between the 5th and 7th centuries. Hop growing in Central Europe can be traced back to the Carolingian period.
Hops were first mentioned in 737 AD in Bavarian Geisenfeld. However, how the hop actually found its way into beer is still unclear to this day. It was probably randomly added to the brewing process, like so many other plants at that time, and its effect recognised to be extremely positive.
Due to the strict three-field crop rotation system of the time, hops were initially only grown in monastery gardens. From the 14th century they were then grown in larger cultivations. From the 16th to the 18th century, their flowers and roots were used for medicinal purposes and even today the hop’s bitter compounds are used as a calmative.
Just like hemp, the hop belongs to the Cannabaceae family, which is related to the Moraceae family.
Today, both hop growers and brewers distinguish between aroma and bitter hop varieties. “Flavour hops” constitute a new variety category of hops which, thanks to their fruity aroma, give the beer a special flavour in a natural way.
The hop is a perennial dextrorse creeper that can climb trellises to reach heights of 5 to 7 metres. During harvesting the bines are cut at the base from which new shoots grow again in spring. The plants are dioecious, which means that the plant produces either only male or only female flowers. Only the cones of the female plants are used for the brewing process, as they contain valuable compounds.
The male plants do not produce cones and are rigorously removed from the hop-growing areas to prevent pollination of the female plants.
Hops are principally used for the brewing of beer. They lend the beer the necessary bitterness and give it a “floral hop aroma”. The bitter compounds in the hops and the hop resins, which are responsible for the slightly dry, bitter flavour, are found in the yellow lupulin glands contained inside the cones. The hop compounds possess additional preserving and foam-stabilising properties.
The most important hop compounds relevant to brewing are: alpha acid (humulon), beta acid (lupulon), resins, essential oils and tannins.
While hops used to be added during beer production in their natural form (as cone hops), today it tends to be chiefly hop products that are added (in the form of pellets, extracts or so-called advanced hop products). The latter offer advantages with regard to homogeneity and product stability, as well as to suitability for automated hopping in the brewery.
Raw hops are hops which have been dried, cleaned and packed into bales after the harvest (cone hops).
Hop pellets are compressed hops. In order to produce pellets, cone hops are ground, pressed (pelletised) and hermetically packaged. Pellets are easier to dose and store than raw hops, and thanks to their greater density they save space and weight.
When processing cone hops into pellets, it is possible to produce enriched pellets whose oil and bitter content is higher using a separation process. At the grinding stage the hops are frozen to around -30 °C in order to harden the lupulin glands and make them easier to separate from the leaves by sieving. Leaf removal reduces the product weight, which in turn means that fewer suspended solids make it into the brewing process and therefore do not need to be filtered out of the beer again.
With the help of the solvent carbon dioxide (CO2), all compounds relevant to brewing (soft resins and oil) can be removed from the hops in the form of extracts.
Like ethanol, liquid CO2 has proven its worth against other organic solvents for use in the non-destructive extraction of hop compounds.
The advantages of CO2 extract are: longer shelf life, reduced weight (reduced transport costs), more cost-effective storage (less cooling required), simpler handling in the brewery (automatic dosage) and possibility of enriching the oil content.
Extract is commonly packaged in cans of various sizes (1-4 kg) and barrels (approx. 200 kg).
Hops have been industrially processed into pellets and extracts since the early 1970s. Joh. Barth & Sohn is the majority shareholder in the most modern and largest hop-processing plants in the world:
- Hopfenveredlung St. Johann GmbH & Co KG (pellet production)
- NATECO2 GmbH & Co KG (supercritical CO2 extraction of natural substances)
Advanced Hop Products
These are liquid hop products that are added to the finished beer. They contribute to the bittering and/or to the aroma of the beer and facilitate an increase in the hop yield of bitter and aroma compounds.
Aroma products are mainly based on CO2 hop extract that is subject to further treatment by means of various processes.
With the range of Pure Hop Aroma products (PHA) developed by BARTH-HAAS UK (a member of the BARTH-HAAS GROUP), beers and other drinks can be efficiently and flexibly given a (non-bitter) hop flavour and aroma. These products are 100% hop-based.
Liquid bitter compounds are used to replace part of the hop extract or the pellets for economic reasons and to improve the yield, and to fine-tune the bitterness of the finished beer and improve its foam stability.
The first three hop compositions from BARTH-HAAS are called T‘n’T, Yellow Sub and Fantasia. Developed using top-secret formulas, these extraordinary hop creations allow brewers to brew interesting and sophisticated beers with a diverse range of intense flavours.
A small proportion of harvested hops is used in the ethanol and sugar industries as an antibacterial processing aid. A hop-based veterinary medicinal product for the treatment of bees against varroa has been very successful in the United States, and is already in the process of receiving approval in Europe. Additionally, hops are used in dietary supplements to reduce inflammation of the locomotor system and improve sleep, and as a natural sedative.
Hops are also used for flavour enhancement in some liqueurs, schnapps and other foodstuffs (e.g. tea).
MILESTONES IN THE COMPANY’S HISTORY
We have been setting standards in the industry for 222 years.
Late 1950s / early 1960s.
English and Belgian bitter hop varieties (Northern Brewer and Brewers Gold) are introduced for the first time in the Hallertau region. In 1958 Joh. Barth & Sohn introduces the multi-year fixed-price contracts (already common in the USA) into Germany. These contracts have since become established and are to this day the principal hop marketing instrument for growers and brewers.
A facility for hop extraction using methylene chloride is established in collaboration with English partners in Wolnzach. At the end of 1960s Joh. Barth & Sohn acquires a share in the company Hopfenveredlung Dr. A. Müller & Co. which at the time holds the patent for enriched hop powder (Type 45).
The world’s most modern methylene chloride extraction facility of its time opens in Wolnzach. The Wolnzach facility develops an exemplary standard in which the residual methylene chloride solvent content is several times lower than the legal tolerance.
At the start of the 1980s efforts are significantly stepped up to introduce high-pressure extraction using supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2). In 1985 the first high-pressure extraction plant goes into production in Wolnzach, followed quickly with a second in 1988. Subsequent expansions raise the solvent-free extraction capacity to approx. 50 tonnes of pelletised raw hops per day.
1992 sees the commissioning of a new processing plant for type 90 pellets at the St. Johann facility and the doubling of capacity for type 45. This makes it the world’s largest and most modern pelletisation plant. Type 30 is introduced in 1994. In the mid-nineties large cold storage facilities are added with a storage capacity of approx. 10,000 m² for pellets and raw hops – a capacity previously known only in the USA. At this time, Joh. Barth & Sohn acquires a majority holding in Wigan Products Ltd, a UK-based company specialising in advanced hop products.
1997 sees the introduction of the new RB-60 rectangular bales, in the development and promotion of which Joh. Barth & Sohn played a substantial part, to replace the traditional and bulky farmer’s bales. The company has also been involved in phytopharmaceutical extraction for a long time These activities, including the engineering, are brought together in the company NATECO2. In addition, a research brewery with its own training centre is established in St. Johann. This allows us to offer our customers the possibility to commission research and have specific projects conducted according to their specifications. In the mid-1990s the group becomes active in China. This period sees the founding of Green Diamond Hops (GDH) and Gansu Tianma Hops Co. (Flying Horse Hop Company, FHH). Both companies devote their activities to the predominantly domestic trade in Chinese hops and have their own pellet plants.
In 2000, Joh. Barth & Sohn merges with Hopunion Raiser Scharrer KG. Following the takeover of another British company, English Hop Products (EHP), Botanix Ltd. is established in 2001. In 2002 Regine Barth becomes a managing partner, which requires the outdated company statutes allowing only men in management positions to be amended. In 2006 the BARTH-HAAS (Beijing) Trade Co. is founded in Peking, as a result of which the BARTH-HAAS GROUP is able to offer the most extensive product range in the hop industry in China, too. In 2007 the BARTH-HAAS GRANTS are initiated. These grants provide support for scientific papers and projects concerning innovative hop research. In 2010 Green Diamond Hops (GDH) relocates to Hutubi. Following decades of development and expansion, the BARTH-HAAS GROUP now has laboratory capacity for plant protection agent analysis that is unparalleled in the industry.
Barth Innovations Ltd. is founded as an innovation and service centre for the R&D requirements of the European companies belonging to the BARTH-HAAS GROUP. In addition, the BARTH-HAAS HOPS ACADEMY is born. It offers knowledge transfer to participants (customers, students, etc.) through an extensive range of courses on all hop-related subjects. In 2012 Joh. Barth & Sohn is the first company in the hop industry to introduce an analysis guarantee – the BARTH quality control guarantee verifiably certifies that all hops and hop products marketed by BARTH have been analysed for plant protection agent residues. The BARTH HOPS ACADEMY is established the same year. As a counterpart to the BARTH-HAAS HOPS ACADEMY, it offers training courses on all aspects of hop growing to the growers who supply Joh. Barth & Sohn. This serves not least as a means of teaching growers about the constantly increasing requirements of customers in the brewing industry worldwide. The company’s first Sustainability Report is also published in 2012.
We imaginatively, competently and reliably combine professional advice with the most attractive hop portfolio.
That’s how we ensure the success of our customers and suppliers.
Our customers and suppliers are the basis of our business. It is our self-evident duty to treat people in a respectful and competent manner.
We are both demanding and supportive of our employees. We want to be and remain an attractive employer for them.
Economic success is the result of our employees’ consistent commitment to performance in all areas of the company and the collaboration with our partners throughout the value chain.
We always observe the prevailing individual, social and legal norms and environmental standards in all our areas of activity.
Sustainability is a key value in everything we do. We actively protect the environment and support the society in which we work and live in many different ways.
As a family-owned company, we also shape our future in our obligation towards our forefathers. Our corporate culture is an outward expression of this responsibility.
We work in a solution-oriented manner. We identify problems by looking ahead. As competent employees of Joh. Barth & Sohn, we develop the right solution for ourselves, our customers and suppliers at all times, based on our own initiative and taking a structured approach!
We act with a sense of responsibility. We accept our responsibility towards society, our customers, our suppliers and our colleagues. As a matter of principle, we act prudently in all situations. When it comes to realising our objectives we implement them with vigor. We achieve this by acting independently and decisively in our daily work. This gives us credibility in the eyes of our customers and suppliers.
We are team players. Our helpful and respectful attitude in our dealings with customers, suppliers and colleagues creates a foundation for delivering all that is asked of us. We are adaptable at all times!
We treat others with respect. For us, that means being open-minded. This applies both to new ideas regarding working methods, products and technologies and to our interaction with each other. We empathise with the needs and interests of our partners and collegues. We communicate clearly to ensure we understand each other and that we are able to resolve any conflict. As a result, we are able to constantly develop ourselves and our services in collaboration with our partners.
We have created and implemented a Code of Conduct, which was the goal we defined in our last Sustainability Report. With these behaviour policy guidelines, we make our employees aware of ethical and sustainability-related issues. We give them security by properly expressing our expectations of their behaviour.
Our contribution in the right places.
Our economic performance in the 2014/15 fiscal year underlines once more our stable and sustainable economic strategy. Compared with the recent sustainability reports, the economic distribution amongst our stakeholders has remained virtually unchanged. The increased proportion for growers can be explained primarily by the exceptionally good harvest in 2014.
The largest part (71%) of the company’s total income went to our raw materials suppliers (growers) as material costs.
8% of the company’s total income was received by banks and other lenders of capital and by other suppliers and 16% by service providers (value-chain partners).
4% of the company’s total income went to employees in the form of wages, salaries and pension provisions, while 1% went to public authorities, the local community and the education system (contributions, sponsoring, donations).
Employees receive support in the form of additional social benefits on a case-by-case basis, if required, as they do equally in their voluntary social activities.
As a local employer, buyer and investor, Joh. Barth & Sohn promotes economic, social and societal progress at its company locations.