Craft beer growth and success actually leads to less overall consumption.
What once started as a west coast boogaloo (hop-along, if you will), has spread into a world-wide phenomenon. Michigan increased craft breweries by more than 20% last year, and Colorado now has more craft breweries than Oregon. Vermont is now the #1 state with the highest population per craft breweries, albeit Oregon is still #2. (Production/Sales Stats per State – BrewersAssociation)The point is, regional expansion has blown up the industry. We can get good craft beer, virtually anywhere. Craft breweries make up 98% of the breweries in the USA. Craft brewers sold over 15.6 million barrels of beer in 2013, up 2.4 million over the previous year, and averaging 11% growth each year for 10+ years.
Total beer sales to retail grew one percent in 2013 to reach $105.5 billion dollars, despite experiencing a 1.2% decrease in volumes. Consumers are trading up, as 25% of industry volumes and 35% of industry dollars now attribute to craft beer segments. Why…partially because it’s hard to get, sometimes limited, so it’s in demand. You can go buy that cheap domestic beer, again, it’s always there and always taste the same – bat that seasonal craft beer that may not be there the next time your paying has real value, and that’s hard to deny.
Translation: As we drink more craft beer with bigger, maltier taste and higher ABVs, we drink less beer, but we spend more money. Actually, as a whole, we’re drinking more craft beer than ever before (Budweiser sales down 20%), and, more wine and more spirits. Bud and Miller are buying in, kinda, at least to the point where they’re buying craft brewing entities. However, if this overblown Super Bowl ad is any evidence of lingering ignorance and hypocrisies, the ‘macro beer’ fellas may wanna try to be more transparent…like their beer.
Infographic courtesy of Brandongaille.com)