Brewers association

The craft beer revolution is now a global phenomenon

Between 2015 and 2016, U.S. craft beer volumes grew by about 6%, with 2017 growth expected to be in the mid-single digit range, according to the Brewers Association.

However, this slowdown is very much in line with what has happened in the US beer market, Pease told BeverageDaily at drinktec 2017 in Munich, Germany.

“We have to keep two things in mind here: [firstly] the 16 to 18 breweries that no longer meet the BA’s definition of “craft”. »

To meet the definition of the Brewers Association of “Arts and crafts,”​a brewer must not be more than 25% owned by any party other than the craft brewer itself.

“If they hadn’t sold, the volume for small independent craft brewers would be even greater and our growth rates would be higher.”

Ascent of the tavern

Another important factor to consider is the evolution of the business model of many small independent American brewers: storage space and distribution have become much more competitive and the Brewers Association has noticed a move towards a consumption hall model. in which the brewers choose to focus on building a local drinking hall. rather than investing in packaging lines and regional distribution of their beer.

“People invest in the infrastructure and equipment to open a brewery, but they don’t can or bottle their beer,”said Pease.

“They sell everything they earn at their place of work, and the profit for the operator is much higher.”

According to Pease, the growing dining room business model is also supported by a shift in the consumption pattern of beer drinkers.

“The beer drinker goes out and has the tavern experience, he’s not going to stock up and buy a six-pack to take home,”he said.

“The drinking habits of beer drinkers have changed, helping the small local brewery, but likely hurting larger established regional craft brewers.”

American Beer Abroad

At drinktec, the Brewers Association showcased a number of small, independent American beer brands to an international audience, including: Allagash Brewing Co., Epic Brewing Co., Lefthand Brewing Co and West Sixth Brewing Co.

Pease noted that the types of beer featured at drinktec came “full circle”​ with American beer styles such as IPA, pale ale, Saisson becoming increasingly popular in international markets.

“So many European brewers mimic the business models, beer styles, beer processes of American craft beer,”he said.

“We think it’s really cool because, for us, craft beer brewing started 35 years ago with the pioneers of America’s craft beer movement imitating styles of brewing process, flavors of the United Kingdom, Germany and Belgium.”

The Brewers Association’s export development program has seen US craft beer exports increase by double digits to select global markets such as the UK and Japan.

“The ‘Craft Beer Revolution’ isn’t just confined to the United States, it’s now a global phenomenon”, said Pease.