You’ve no doubt heard, or have experienced, the tremendous growth of the craft brewing industry over the past few years. Just between the years 2012 and 2013, the number of regional craft breweries and microbreweries increased over 22% with production increasing 17.7%….not too shabby!
And because this growth is relatively new, and we Americans are just now getting through the 2007 housing market crash and its aftereffects, people are curious as to whether or not the craft beer growth is here to stay for the long haul, or if this is just another bubble.
It’s my personal opinion that the growth is here to stay and that most areas of the country could support about twice the amount of breweries as we currently have. This article from the Brewers Association does a great job of laying out details why…better than I could. But here are my observations and comments:
– Breweries are becoming part of the local community as much as they are the local economy through philanthropy, local events, and by becoming gathering spots. People will support breweries because the breweries are supporting the people.
– We consumers love choice and new experiences. Craft brewing provides those new experiences because it is based around experimentation and thinking outside the box.
– And lastly, Craft Beer has largely gotten to where it currently sits on its own laurels. Major sports brands have yet to even start embracing or using it to market to its fans and many chain and regional restaurants still don’t offer local beer selections. Once these new markets start to embrace and entice an even wider audience with craft beer, the Craft Beer market will have no choice but to expand even further to keep up.