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Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Can_has_beer, Sep 13, 2013.
In a perfect world, there would be no need to trade beer.
I had three local pizza places close by me. Are people starting to dislike pizza?
One of the big questions is what the realistic shelf-space limit is. Overall craft beer volume can keep going up with constant shelf-space (the retailer simply keeps more in back or schedules more frequent deliveries), but people can't buy what isn't on the shelf--which should mean there is an upper limit to variety at some point, at least variety in any given locale. I'm amazed that there is as much shelf space today as there is - and you have to wonder at what point having yet-another-decent-IPA on the shelf is worth the hassle to a retailer, at some point it is simply displacing sales of something else you already have. There is some runway for the one-off taproom guys, but the number of additional breweries with good national distribution can't grow forever because they need shelf space in lots of retailers.
The shelf space issue is already very real. The big retailers (most) are virtually controlled by the big wholesalers, and the little less than big wholesaler may have great national brands but not get any representation for these gems when the "big" wholesalers draw up the store sets. The big guys have long been working the faux craft brands into the obligatory Sam and Sierra territory and there's never enough space for all of their regular stuff, in their minds. As a former small wholesaler with great brands, I ceded the "big" retail biz to the "big" wholesalers and fought on the independent bottleshop front- and, of course, on-premise everywhere. Lots of breweries want to be on the shelves everywhere, but only a few reach that plateau. Good wholesalers, good retailers, and good bar and restaurant operators are the real heart and soul of the so-called "craft movement". Great beer has been well touted for years.
One of the side effects of many, many breweries opening up is the opportunity for more breweries to make bad beer and poor decisions. The bubble talk is stupid.
The question is; how many brewery's opened or expanded compared to how many closed. Craft beer is raging, and since its beer I see no bubble burst on the horizon. No one I have ever met said to me "I am sick of locally brewed fresh ipa, I am going back to miller lite!"
How much of this growth translates to actual retail sales? Does most product get purchased?
I'm very curious as to who this is....
Down here in Texas... literally no one has closed in the last 5 years besides 1 brewpub that closed its' second branch (Uncle Billy's Brew & Q Lake Travis) because of low traffic/high rent. I still don't get how some of these shitty breweries are still in business down here.
If there is a bubble that's going to break.... let it break. People making good product will continue to expand or flatten while others will fall to the wayside. The ones that are going to be in trouble are the guys rapidly expanding into new markets and taking out multi-million dollar loans to do so. What happens when their business flattens and they've planned on exponential year-over-year growth in their business plan? (and don't tell me places aren't doing this) Womp. Womp.
At one time Michael Jackson listed Austin as one of his top 5 US beer cities. First time there we really liked it for the breweries. This was some time ago.
Then Waterloo, Copper Tank ( think that is the right name), Bitter End, and Celis closed. It was not so vibrant after that.
Now a second wave has opened. Some better than others.
Coming full circle... Celis should be opening again sometime in the future (first contract brewing here in town, then as an actual brewery). Christine Celis recently began importing Belgian beers here in town in the last 2 years or so, so I have seen her often.
Most of the Waterloo, Copper Tank, and Bitter End guys are still around too at other breweries. Heck, Austin Beerworks uses some of Copper Tank's equipment (hot liquor & cooling tanks, iirc).
Yes, I know she bought back the brand name as part of the dissolution of MBC.
OH NO IT'S LIKE THE HIGHLANDER
There can only be one!
Nah, there may be a ceiling for the amount of micro breweries that can survive in a given area but this does not spell the end of our little craft revolution.