Despite the fact that we’re all more alike than we’d like to admit, we get a surreal amount of gratification when we think we’re part of something the majority of our constituents aren’t. It makes us cool, different, unique and totally alternative. It could be the music we listen to, our taste in television, our style, lifestyle choices, etc. It can even come down to, and you guessed it, the type of alcohol we drink. It’s from our desire for individuality that craft beers were born from.
Of America’s $108 million beer market, craft beers are its shining star. They are traditional non-mechanically produced beers that come from small, often local, breweries versus the massive industrial breweries that most market beers come from. Craft beers are most typically known for their distinct distinguished flavors and wholesome feel, however according to a recent Fortune finding, their risen popularity within the past few years could pose a number of threats to this alternative subject to the beer industry.
Brewers Association has reported a mere 6% volume increase this lsat year versus the 13% and 15% increase it had seen the two previous years. With such a competitive market today, maintaining the growth of previous years is wishful thinking at this point. Another issue craft beer is facing is being acquired by larger powerhouses such as Heineken, Molson Coors, and others who are looking to stay afloat in a stagnant market.
And lastly, Chairman and founder of the Boston Beer Company, Jim Koch, presented the most interesting potential threat. He stated, “perhaps the fact that there were too many choices has, in fact, turned customers away from craft beer.” Has the issue become that now that there are so many craft beers, what used to be a specialty is now a been-there-done-that? We’re not sure. What we do know is that craft beer may be taking a tiny bit of hit at the moment. But no need to worry your little heart, it isn’t going anywhere.