Craft Beer: Is it really as new a trend as we think?
Craft beer is all the buzz in America. But just how big is it? The numbers suggest it’s not just a niche market anymore. In fact, the numbers suggest craft beer is taking over.
As of last year, the craft beer sector took up more than 12% of the overall American beer market. According to the Brewer’s Association, there are now well over 5,000 brewers in America, and almost all of them are part of the craft brewery revolution.
Not only are craft breweries growing in number and in market share, they are creating whole new sectors for business growth. To begin with, they employ about 129,000 people just in the brewing process. Beyond that, whole side industries are cropping up to help water America’s thirst for quality beer. Products like the Growler Chiller—a new device that helps you keep your growlers fresh for weeks and lets you keep them on tap—are springing up everywhere.
Though the same old dreary mainstream beer brands are still eating up most of the American beer market, the numbers suggest that craft beer is ready to snowball into a major economic power player, if it isn’t one already.
The retail side is already a heavy hitter, bringing in more than $23 billion in sales in 2015 (which was a more than 10% increase from the year before). That number made up a fifth of all beer sales.
On top of that, there are now plenty of bars that specialize only in craft products. 1,916 craft brewpubs mark an 11% increase from the year before. There are also more than 3,000 microbreweries and 186 regional craft breweries. Those are some impressive numbers.
With numbers like the ones above, it’s hard to imagine the craft beer world going anywhere but up. And the reasons are obvious. First and foremost, craft beer is just better. It’s American made, providing American jobs, and using American know-how. Craft beers are adaptable where the old brands are still selling the same beer they were fifty years ago. Craft beer is hipper, better with its marketing, and many are tailored to the tastes of a particular state or region. Budweiser can’t compete with those dynamics. All the King of Beers can do is wait to be toppled.
Most importantly, craft beer tastes better. Though you can’t put all craft beers into a single category (their diversity in taste is, of course, part of their charm), they are on a whole significantly more satisfying and palatable than anything Miller or Anheuser-Busch has to offer.
Don’t believe me? You don’t have to. Just look at the numbers above. The scales have tipped, and craft beer is on its way to taking over the whole market.