Tweets, Instagram stories and Facebook posts are all contributing to the rise of artisanal craft beer. While we can’t say that craft beer has been immune to the economic downturn, we can point to more craft brewers opening on a regular basis and the continued growth of breweries like Sierra Nevada, Dogfish Head, Wicked Weed, Stone and Firestone Walker, who make up nearly 5% of the overall U.S. market.
If craft beer doesn’t take over every household at least in one of the two cities above, the growth at the local bar could change drastically in the coming years.
As an entrepreneur, in the past two decades my career and company would often be discussed and talked about in a discussion of how craft distilleries and breweries are destroying the business model of the bigger players. And that’s true, the current market has a much more fragmented ecosystem to contend with and the smaller players struggle in a saturated, high-volume environment.
But why is this? Why is having a local craft brewery a bad thing for business? If you look at the numbers, business is growing. How can they not? I recently spoke with Tim Evans from American Craft Brewers, a craft brewery and artisanal brewery that has been in existence in San Diego since 2008, that is located at the corner of Bayshore Blvd., just south of La Jolla Blvd., in the city in the San Diego Bay Area. “Every year from 2007 to 2012, about 700-plus breweries opened up within the region,” says Evans.
That’s more than three per state and about five per region nationwide. Those numbers are impressive for one of the fastest growing cities in the country. “In this age of consolidation, we are seeing our neighbors in Kansas and Minnesota that are experiencing a similar trend,” says Mr. Evans. The biggest growth rate in the region is in the West, while the Midwest and South and East are seeing the most growth and growth across the country. “I think what’s happening here is that local craft brewers have started to grow organically and with much more independence in terms of who they hire, that is the next generation of the beer industry.”
That makes sense. It also makes sense that they are able to support themselves by being independently owned. And when you look at the growth of the craft craft brewing industry across the country, the number of distilleries and breweries has gone up dramatically.
There’s even more to this story, which is what is behind the resurgence of
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