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Huge changes in the brewing industry

Discussion in 'Canada' started by vancouvercynic, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. vancouvercynic

    vancouvercynic Initiate (20) Feb 24, 2013

    I worked in the brewery industry for 30 long but enjoyable years. I see huge changes starting to happen with what I coined as 'industrial' brewers. Even though Labatt and Molson still have the largest shares in Canada's marketplace one could envision their shrinkage, at least in B.C. with the advent of micro brewers starting in the 1980's.

    Even though most of the start ups failed either do to poor funding (under capitalization) or a lack of knowledge concerning the brewing process. All that has changed now to the point that the 'craft brewers' have gone from 7% of the market too 15% of market share in something like 5 years in B.C. alone.

    In the beer trade that is huge!

    Meanwhile, the industrial brewers shares in the marketplace have shrunk by that and more. Wine sales are up as are some spirits, so along with the craft brewers they combine in taking more and more market share from the industrial producers.

    The same can be said for the USA. Over the years it became more and more obvious to me that the geniuses in marketing were in fact dictating how it should taste and how it should look in the glass . Even worse these same giants of circle thinking came up with the idea to use green glass instead dark brown only because it looked like imported beer. Somehow they equated quality with glass and not what was inside it . For decades we had used stubby bottles. In fact we had some that had been in the system for 25 years. They were tough bottles! The green 'tall' bottles might last through three or four refills but because they are so thin they would scruff easily or fall apart in the bottle washer or blow up in the bottle filler.

    In a nutshell brewery losses and plant down time along with huge beer losses rose dramatically. The managers and the crews made these drawbacks known to the higher up but marketing had the final say.

    Of course bud gave us the success of bland and glitz over taste to the point that we now watch as the large brewers are teetering on the verge of imploding due to their lust for more sales at the loss of a quality product.

    I can envision one or both of the industrial brewers in Canada going out of business within 10-20 years if they continue along this path. The same can be said of many of the U.S brewers. Any business that has shrinkage in market share as they are having now cannot expect to continue much longer.

    What they don't understand is that people are willing to pay more for a quality product and even more so a product that is made locally and made with pride !
    IanSpindler and Rutager like this.
  2. Can't speak for others, but I'm not interested in paying more for a product b/c it's made locally. I'd expect to pay less in fact. Good? That's another question.
    kuhndog likes this.
  3. FEUO

    FEUO Initiate (0) Ontario (Canada) Jul 24, 2012

    Can't see them going out of business, but definitely a restructuring similar to Chrysler/GM during their bailouts.

  4. When I read stats like this it always makes me wonder. I mean I hear all the time that the overall beer market is shrinking. So if craft beer in BC went from 7 to 15% how much of that was was because craft beer sales increased and how much was because the market itself shrank. I mean to put it simple if 100 beers are sold in bc and 7 of them are craft they have 7 percent of the market share. But if the market shrinks to 46 beers and you still sell 7, you now have 15% of the market share. I know it is not that simple, but that is one way to look at it. I know people in BC are generally interested in health and fitness, so how much market share did big brewers lose to people who gave up drinking beer all together?
  5. I will say that I know that in the athletic world, beers are very common. Generally, the guys I know (And the places that we go) end up mostly serving stuff like Canadian, various Rickards, or, if I'm lucky, they have Keith's on tap, since its the most tolerable of the macros, IMO. I don't see the healthy lifestyle thing contributing, as I'm involved in high-end athletics and alcohol is very much a part of the lifestyle.

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