It’s 2017, and craft beer is still here. But is the industry in a better or worst state than it was in the past? Well, that was a topic of discussion at the Craft Brewers Conference in Washington, D.C.
The brewers association held the annual State of the Industry report and they were many notable mentions. One of the noteworthy things they had to say about the craft beer industry is that it’s “crowded”.
Right now, in the US alone there are over 5300 active breweries with an average of 2 new ones opening every day. This average may seem like a lot, but it’s actually the lowest rate of new brewery growth in years.
Paul Gatza, Director of the Brewers Association says that this slowed growth isn’t something that he hasn’t seen before. “Growth slows in a crowded market.”
The year 2016 saw 826 new breweries which was a decline from 2015 and 2014. And up to 2000 breweries aren’t open but possess federal brewing permits.
The one thing that hasn’t changed is the number of breweries that are closing down. 97 breweries shut down their operations in 2016 and the amount in relation to openings remained relatively the same for the past two years.
Bart Watson, the Association’s Chief Economist believes that “in the long run we have to expect with more competition there will be more closings.”
The most dominant craft beer are IPAs which own 25.4% of the market share.
The quality of craft beer was a major topic of conversation among the panel.
“Every successful brewery has to solve the problem of how to achieve both great quality and creativity,” said Horwitz. “High quality beer is not an accident. Successful breweries will plan for creativity and innovation.”
Another topic of conversation was acquisitions. The number of acquisitions were lower in 2016 than it was in 2015 but Gatza believes that these acquisitions can be a source of “confusion”.
“There’s some confusion about breweries that are assumed to have been acquired when in fact they are still small and independent, and some companies are assumed to be small and independent when in fact they’ve been acquired,” Gatza said.
And of course, you can’t talk about the state of the craft beer industry without discussing diversity. In reference to diversity Bob Pease, CEO and President of the Brewers Association said: “Diversity is not a problem to be solved, it’s a value to be lived.”
And, the Brewers Association promises to do everything in their power to ensure tht\at craft breweries do not create labels or business names that are offensive.
So, this is a general outline of the state of the craft beer industry. What do you think? Do you think craft beer is here to stay?
Source: Drink Up Columbus