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Do you guys feel the craft beer market is shrinking or expanding?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by BreakingBad, Oct 9, 2012.


What do you feel the craft beer market will do in the next 5 years?

  1. Expand- you can predict how much in the comments

    128 vote(s)
  2. Shrink- you can explain why and how much in the comments

    6 vote(s)
  3. Level out where it is now

    11 vote(s)
  1. BB1313

    BB1313 Champion (825) Ohio Jul 16, 2009

    Basically everything I feel has been said. The number of new breweries opening and older ones expanding says alot. The craft scene gets bigger each and every year and I don't see it slowing down anytime soon. I remember when highly sought out beers used to collect dust on shelves, now they disappear in a week. Bottom line: Beer never goes out of style.
    MagillaGriller likes this.
  2. HOGIE888

    HOGIE888 Disciple (55) Oct 6, 2012

    I feel that it will continue to expand. However, as it is today, future expansion does not necessarily mean good beer will come from any/all of the brewers.
  3. MagillaGriller

    MagillaGriller Savant (315) Aug 20, 2012

    My wallet says it is expanding
  4. MagillaGriller

    MagillaGriller Savant (315) Aug 20, 2012

    That's a lotta beer. BeerWatchers www.getoffyourfatlazyass.com
  5. dennho

    dennho Savant (365) New York Oct 29, 2006

    My doctor told me to cut down on my drinking. (I knew I shouldn't have told her the truth) So next quarter craft beer sales will be down.
  6. beertunes

    beertunes Poobah (1,255) Washington Sep 24, 2007

    They might be "bad" by our (beer geek) standards, but honestly if it's a fresh, local product, it's probably not truly bad. I agree that there are a handful of local/regional breweries that I wouldn't miss, but I'd also really hate to see fewer breweries. If having a brewery in the neighborhood helps draw more folks into the realm of craft beer, I think that's a good thing.
    5thOhio likes this.
  7. Good point. However, I would not want someones first craft beer experience fall pray to Wingman.
    beertunes likes this.
  8. beertunes

    beertunes Poobah (1,255) Washington Sep 24, 2007

    As an aviation geek, I strongly feel they should take the name P-51 off that Porter. An insult to one of the finest aircraft ever built. Man, that beer is terrible.
    barleywinefiend likes this.
  9. Craft beer will grow at a steady pace for a long time imo.
  10. BreakingBad

    BreakingBad Initiate (0) Sep 17, 2012

    Best comment on the thread
  11. That's what you get for living in Bakes.
  12. Yeah I know. :/ it is getting better though, drastically better.
  13. Now, now. Bako is not that bad. They do have Lengthwise x 2, Imbibe, KRBC is an hour or so away and I know they have RR, FW, Lost Abbey and more.

    You want dead. Just go West out to Lompoc/Santa Maria.
  14. Yeah, I think it's expanding into more that some of the bigger craft brewers are being seen more in bars and restaurants and whatnot and finding people willing to try them out because they've heard of them. I think it's going for some of the producers right underneath the Dogfishes and Sam Adams as well depending on the region you're in. Thanks to Pumking Southern Tier has a decent rep here in PA and Victory shows up pretty well given its calling the state its home and so on. But I can't bring up Three Floyds or talk about my desire to get some Russian River or whatnot without expecting anyone to know what the hell I'm talking about.
  15. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Advocate (500) Kentucky Apr 20, 2004

    darknova306 likes this.
  16. chcfan

    chcfan Advocate (620) California Oct 29, 2008

    The OP is definitely misleading compared to the poll. The numbers are there. Increased rate of growth over the last few years. It will level off at some point and I predict that the number of breweries who don't make it will make a pretty big jump just because of the huge rate. 1000 in the next year? Certainly a number of these will either make mediocre beer, or have bad/inexperienced management or both. Still, things are definitely going in the right direction.

    Also, you can't base predictions on the overall craft market based on the incredibly small fraction of it that is limited releases. They are just a drop in the bucket.
  17. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Advocate (500) Kentucky Apr 20, 2004

    Do you have any evidence of a bubble?
  18. no, but the growth is just so crazy fast. at least in my neck of the woods
  19. stupac2

    stupac2 Initiate (0) California Feb 22, 2011

    So is the growth in the smartphone market. Fast growth doesn't imply a bubble.
  20. gopher40

    gopher40 Zealot (75) Michigan Aug 31, 2009

    In Michigan they are going ape shit. Lots of good beers being offered. Got to love it!
  21. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Advocate (500) Kentucky Apr 20, 2004

    Bubbles are when <b>prices</b> are not sustainable by fundamentals of the product. There very well may be a bubble in some Whales. There is not a bubble in the craft beer market as a whole.[/quote]
  22. Much of craft beer is, IMO, currently priced at unsustainable levels. The basic products and seasonals from any number of local breweries in my area (SC and NC) are priced far beyond equal-quality competitors. Just a couple of examples: SC brewery IPA $11.99/six pack, SN (D)IPA $6.99/six pack; SC brewery bomber of Maerzen $6.99, SN Tumbler/Spaten Oktoberfest $7.99/six pack. To my mind, neither a "buy-local" mentality, nor a demand for all things new and exciting is enough to sustain that type of cost discrepancy, especially when the competitors' beers are as good as, if not frequently better, than the locals'.
  23. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Advocate (500) Kentucky Apr 20, 2004

    Sierra Nevada is craft and much larger than whatever you are comparing them to, so that actually makes the point that craft isnt overpriced.
  24. leedorham

    leedorham Champion (845) Washington Apr 27, 2006

    Basing your view of the craft beer industry on limited release parties and BA Darklord is like basing your view of the auto industry on Bugatti sales.
  25. this isn't about empirical data. it's whether we feel the market is shrinking or expanding.
    jmw likes this.
  26. I see your point. I guess it would take a lot more breweries of SN's size and reach (and, most importantly, quality) at this point to really put enough pressure on the little guys to force them to lower their prices. Will be interested to see what happens when, say, Goose Island's products begin to appear nationwide.
  27. In Scotland the craft beer phenomenen keeps on rolling along showing no sign of slowing. There's a good number of craft pubs in Edinburgh and another about to open in the coming weeks. Then there's the long established real ale pubs. BrewDog is in very good company .
  28. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Advocate (500) Kentucky Apr 20, 2004

    I dont "feel" facts. They are or they arent.
    darknova306 likes this.
  29. DogTown

    DogTown Savant (270) California May 17, 2006

    Here's a whole other way to think about the question of whether or not Craft will continue expanding, or whether the 'bubble' will burst... How about this instead: The 'bubble' is the condition where three or four brewers are making something like 85% of all the beer consumed in the 50 states. THAT bubble is bursting right now and the only thing Craft Brewers are doing is sopping up all the market share that consumers released for the Craft Brewers by deciding to Drink Different and then nurturing those small brewers who would Brew Different. If you see it all that way then there will be no end because there is no pressure within the Craft end of the spectrum. Craft is the sponge!
    elgiacomo likes this.
  30. leedorham

    leedorham Champion (845) Washington Apr 27, 2006

    Feel, rlcoffey....feel.

    Let's all just feel.
    Levitation likes this.
  31. stupac2

    stupac2 Initiate (0) California Feb 22, 2011

    Like, woah, man.
  32. Casedogg43

    Casedogg43 Advocate (500) Indiana Jan 4, 2012

    I tend to disagree. Craft beer has grown because of talk and excitement. Craft beer people talking to others and inciting them to try the local brew.
    Then comes the discussion and talk of the Legendary Crafts like Dark Lord, Darkness etc.
    This is the best marketing, period.
    The big boys expanding helps normal beer drinking folks take baby steps. But the local crafts that are popping up and being Talked about are pushing growth.
  33. Daktah

    Daktah Savant (310) Illinois Apr 13, 2011

    Completely agree. Local breweries are great to have around as an alternative place to hang out (instead of always hitting up the coffee shops), get some local beer and support a small business. But most of what I've tried from recently launched breweries in NC doesn't measure up to what I can buy from more established NC breweries (Highland, Green Man, Olde Hickory, Foothills, Duck Rabbit) or national brands like New Belgium, Sierra Nevada, Lagunitas, Stone, Bells, etc. The newest local breweries popping up have all the makings of a bubble, and may be riding the broader, more sustainable craft beer trend.
  34. you seem kind of uptight.

    imagine if you'd been there when steve jobs invented the computer. "no man, i don't think anyone would buy that." or when greg koch invented the double ipa. "no man, i don't think people need more than a single." or when asheville became beervana. "no man, i don't think you'll ever be as good as portland."

    chill bro. chill out with them negative waves.
    Casedogg43 likes this.
  35. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Advocate (500) Kentucky Apr 20, 2004


    Being fact based is negative? I thought it was being positive and optimistic?
  36. You'll know the market has slowed when you see breweries open, produce a mediocre or terrible beer, and not automatically gain a share of the local market. That will be an indirect signal that the market has reached a point where there is enough existing competition saturating the market. However, I don't see that being the case in most of the country for a long time.
  37. Are we talking about "producing beer" or "making money by producing beer"? I see a lot of small, new breweries producing beer. I don't see a lot of small, new breweries making money hand-over-fist.
  38. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Advocate (500) Kentucky Apr 20, 2004

    Tell me what industry, the small upstart players make money "hand-over-fist"? They have to grew to a certain size first. As an example, from 2009 survey data, the EBITDA for all production breweries was $47 per bbl. For production breweries under 1000 bbls, it was under $8 per bbl. There are fixed costs that make it nearly impossible to be profitable when that small, and in most of those cases Im sure D is eating up that entire $8. Assuming I isnt first.
    darknova306 likes this.
  39. BlueRogue

    BlueRogue Advocate (635) Maine May 1, 2011

    In Maine last year Maine-made beer production was up 30% from the previous year and up 56% from 2 years ago. Sales of BMC are going down in Maine too.
  40. mattbk

    mattbk Savant (425) New York Dec 12, 2011

    can you provide a source for this data? thanks.