Craft beer in 10 years

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Shagtastic, Apr 17, 2012.

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  1. Shagtastic

    Shagtastic Initiate (0) Jul 30, 2011 Indiana

    So after having this conversation with a few people I'd like to see what everyone else thinks. Where do you see the craft beer industry in 10 years. Do you see it as a fad and one that will not last? Or is it a business that will be booming in 10 years. I would like to think that the general public will have totally accepted craft beer by then and that it is in your average drinker's fridge. I've had friends who disagree and think that we are currently in the bubble. What are your thoughts on craft beer a decade from now?
  2. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,084) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    Personally I think we're riding a high wave and there will be some contraction in 10+ years, at least in American craft offerings. The truly well made craft beers will survive and the repetitive tasting lame ones will begin to fall away due to oversaturation/competition. I don't know if there will be less brewers, maybe the same count, I just see alot more "retired" beers coming about in future years with less offerings by brewers. At some point the experimentation/new creations will die down some. Just my Nostronamus guesswork!
  3. dukes

    dukes Initiate (0) Apr 2, 2012 Maryland

    I see it expanding to the point of market over-saturation, which will force a massive consolidation in the industry, which will leave us with the new macro brewers: New Belgium-Sierra and Dogfish Boston Beer
  4. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,459) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    I think we're in bubble territory similar to what I saw in the 90's when any lousy brewery could open and be new and make money for awhile. Similar things are happening now, though these mediocre and poor breweries are relying on the "buy local" dogma/religion as a crutch to stay in business. I hope that people truly expand their palates and explore "drinking best" rather than "drinking local", unless of course you're a lucky person where the two are the same.

    I hope "the best" do even better and we see breweries like Stone, Odells, Ballast Point, Bell's distribute in most states, or even as widely distributed as Sam Adams & Sierra Nevada are now.
  5. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Poo-Bah (3,464) May 19, 2005 Colorado

    I think the growth will level out and the concentration will be at the local level brewpubs and such. Or, maybe that's what I hope :rolling_eyes:
    goodonezach likes this.
  6. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,459) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    We think quite opposite to one another. :wink:
  7. bifrost17

    bifrost17 Initiate (0) Dec 16, 2011 Washington

    If only we could get Bells in Washington state!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    libbey, gatornation, draheim and 2 others like this.
  8. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,459) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    Bell's is in AZ, and it made my YEAR when it first hit... 2-Hearted, Hopslam, and more. Heaven.
    jeffthecheff likes this.
  9. Omer4176

    Omer4176 Initiate (0) Dec 24, 2011 California

    It will be mainstream and somehow I get the feeling that it wont be as much fun as it is now. Call me a pessimist.
    Duff27 likes this.
  10. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Poo-Bah (3,464) May 19, 2005 Colorado

    So it seems, but I think (or hope) the local stuff will be the best:grinning: . distribution costs are getting...uh, well, costly.
  11. klaybie

    klaybie Initiate (0) Nov 15, 2009 Illinois

    The big 3 will be brewing great tasting beers in large quantities at an affordable price *cough not likely cough*

    All kidding aside folks, I'm thinking awesome regional breweries (RR, Hill Farmstead FFF etc.) will have expanded to larger markets as craft beer is gaining in popularity across the country/ world.
  12. bifrost17

    bifrost17 Initiate (0) Dec 16, 2011 Washington

    My sister lives down there, I should get her to send me a care package......
  13. TheodorHerzl

    TheodorHerzl Zealot (513) Mar 30, 2007 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    Craft beer will price itself out of the market.
  14. Omer4176

    Omer4176 Initiate (0) Dec 24, 2011 California

    How about Stone with DogFish Head? Stone Head. That brewery would kick ass, i bet!
    dcook11 and dukes like this.
  15. oxide

    oxide Initiate (0) Apr 22, 2011 Vermont

    Russian River may expand, but I would never bet that Hill Farmstead will. Shaun has a good life, does what he loves, and entices people up to drive hours away on a shitty road to his remote barn to pay him ass-loads of money. He's a smart guy and you really don't need that much money in Vermont :wink:. What does he gain by selling out?
    NardiByNature and pschul4 like this.
  16. LiquidCucumber

    LiquidCucumber Devotee (482) Dec 18, 2009 Ohio

    I think that eventually the craft market will trend towards lighter beers. Perhaps light lagers will be a fad? It's all full circle.
  17. dwaz

    dwaz Initiate (0) Jan 18, 2008 Pennsylvania

    I see a similar sentiment on this website re: this craft beer bubble. Not calling anyone out or anything, I just don't see it. Generally, the beer most breweries are putting out today are head and shoulders above the beer those "lousy" brewries were putting out in the the 90s. I know, I drank thorugh it. Look at your self in the mirror as a beer drinker and lover of craft beer, do you ever see yourself going back to BMC/heinekenn(the mercedes of beers) on a regular basis? Could you live without your local beer bar/bottle shop? How bout those nice seasonal releases from almost every brewery, we all look forward to them.

    I see craft/micro or whatever you want to call it, as growing/increased marketss hare for smaller breweries. Not trying to blast what anyone enjoys, but Bud and Miller are becoming "old man" drinks. More younger people(under 35) are increasingly drinking craft beer and more mainstream bars are offering more craft beer. So the revolution has started. Could you even find a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale on tap at many places 10 to 15 years ago? It's everywhere now, almost mainstream. Don't know what BMC will do, maybe keep buying craft breweries to stty in the game, but they will eventually become irrelevant(look at the UK in 1900 comapred to 2000, THE world power to also ran).

    I was the godfather at a christening this past Sunday and the godmother turns to me as and says " Did you check out the beer list where the lunch is afterward(it had awesome beer list). They defintitely were thinking of us?" I didn't even know this chick knew the difference between Bud and a Stout. And my buddy's younger brother comes up to me after the ceremony and says he was in Kansas City on businnes. Says he went to get BBQ at a place that served good beer, he had an IPA and liked it. People's taste and likes are continuing to evole and more people are moving toward craft beer, IMHO.

    P.S. I enjoy all beer, including BMC, depends on the time and place. Not blasting BMC only drinkers, just think there will eventually be less of them.
    DrAwkward82 likes this.
  18. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,459) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    There was a bubble in the 90's, and it was impossible to miss if you were into "micros" back then. The key feature I saw then is present now - that mediocre & poor beers/breweries were springing up and mysteriously being supported (for awhile). Many failed, of course. I think we could see similar once customers get more exposure to what's out there. And... question and give up the "drink local" fad.
  19. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,035) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    Totally agree (lived through it and had friends who opened breweries that thrived for a while only to, just as quickly, fail). In 10 years am I going to continue to choose a 22oz bomber of a local DIPA for $7.99 over an $7.99 6-pack of SN Torpedo? Novelty quickly wears off in light of price differences such as these; right now, the market will support it, but everyone -- especially these brewers -- knows that such prices are unsustainable. Unless these small, "local" places get enough traction to lower their prices they will in all likelihood fall by the wayside.
    Crazyale and yemenmocha like this.
  20. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,459) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    I agree.

    But I think then you'll also see SN'esque pricing and widespread distribution on even more options Stone, Odells, Green Flash, etc. One brewery is leapfrogging into this status already via the InBev shortcut - Goose Island. Look for them everywhere at reasonable prices in the upcoming years, for example.
  21. TheFlern

    TheFlern Initiate (0) May 9, 2009 Idaho

    I have to imagine that there will be some consolidation. The smaller breweries will be much more local while we will see the rise of maybe 8-10 craft brewers into the level of macro (Rogue, SN, NB, BBC, Deschutes, Bells, Founders, DFH, Stone, Lagunitas, etc.). I think the standard micro beer will be much lower in abv than what we are seeing now (think something like DFH 30 minute ale: continuously drinkable). less one off beers and more emphasis on drinkable, cheaper, yet still super high quality brews. basically we'll look a lot more like europe with a lot of variety, good prices, drinkable beer, etc. The American Pale Ale will probably become the national beer style of choice.
    Prager62 likes this.
  22. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,315) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    The growth in terms of barrels produced went flat in the 90. The good ones grew. The poor quality ones or the ones that had made big bets on a continuing expansion folded. More people are drinking craft beer, but the big breweries are all expanding here. I have read that the capacity in MI alone will more than double in the next year whan all of the expansions come on line.

    Many will rush to open. If they open with limited funds they are in trouble. If they open without a solid plan or product line, they are in trouble.

    The local beer publication had an interview with on of the guys from Founders. He was saying they were expanding to be in a strong position when the shake out occurs.
    yemenmocha likes this.
  23. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,035) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    Yep. Couldn't agree more. As to the "drink local" trend...I think that those who use this mantra most honestly, such as New Glarus and, hereabouts, Olde Mecklenburg, will survive as well. But a big part of that is due to the fact that they have little in the way of competition (locally or nationwide) when it comes to brewing world-class German-style lagers. And their concentrating on gaining traction in the local markets, and hence keeping logistics costs at a minimum (and customer satisfaction at a maximum), will help them keep prices in check as well...not to mention that they don't go too far down the limited-release path that can similarly drive up unsustainable prices.
  24. dwaz

    dwaz Initiate (0) Jan 18, 2008 Pennsylvania

    I'm not discounting the fact that the craft bubble burst in the 90s, we both saw it and lived through it. I just disagree with your premise that a lot of poor/mediocre breweries are springing up now and they are doing well because they are riding the wave and/or locals are supporting them. I feel the overall quality of the breweries/beer now are better than in the 90s and more people are into craft(and that's really the key point). More people are turning away from BMC and toward craft beer and will stay(or at least have an expectation and need for diversity in the flavor profile of their beers). Either way, I see more and more people supporting craft beer and more, not less, breweries doing well regardless. I have no statistics/emperical data to support my thoughts, just the vibe I get nowadays, so I could just be spewing a bunch of shit. Just one man's thoughts, cheers.
  25. cpinto6

    cpinto6 Initiate (0) Feb 25, 2010 Georgia

    We're in a bubble...everyone and their grandmothers with a little cash to spare are opening a brewery. As with any bubble, only the standouts will survive. Everyone else is gonna close their doors eventually. Too many mediocre breweries out there in business just because its the cool think to drink local nowadays and not because their product is good.
    yemenmocha likes this.
  26. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,035) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    The quality of those new brewers in the 90s was analogously better than what existed at the time...but in the long run it wasn't good enough. Overall, sure, the quality will have taken a collective (small) step forward as a result of the current boom. But much of what many BAs now view as life-changing beers will be seen for what they are in 10 years: 90% gimmick.
    TheFlern and yemenmocha like this.
  27. cpinto6

    cpinto6 Initiate (0) Feb 25, 2010 Georgia

    Well it is a symbiotic business so theoretically, as long as breweries are producing quality products there should be space for them. With the whole AB goose island thing though I often wonder how long it'll be before it's a few quality craft breweries owned by the assholes with $ as the bottom line that get those breweries to expand capacity drastically and their shady business practices spew over into the craft world. I don't see them making the breweries use rice when their product is proven and its customer base has a distinctive taste but I do see AB for example finding ways for GI to push other craft breweries out of the shelves. Now when something happens to a craft brewery, other breweries come to the rescue. I'm not sure that'll still be the case once BMCs have dipped their fingers into the pot so to speak.
  28. dwaz

    dwaz Initiate (0) Jan 18, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Again, not calling anyone out, but what shitty breweries are you talking about? I like and drink most of the locals because I think they make good beer(Sly Fox, DFH, Troegs, Victory, Yards, PBC, Weyerbacher, Yuengling, Flying Fish, Stoudts). I support non-locals(Sierra Nevada, Sam Adams, Founders, Russina River, FW, Terrapin , Cigar City, Bells, Cantillion etc.) because they make good beer.
    billlang675 and NardiByNature like this.
  29. tewaris

    tewaris Initiate (0) Jul 14, 2009 Minnesota

    "And what was all that shit about Vietnam? What the FUCK, has anything got to do with Vietnam? What the fuck are you talking about?" -- The Dude
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  30. cpinto6

    cpinto6 Initiate (0) Feb 25, 2010 Georgia

    Out of the ones you mentioned and I've tried...DFH, Weyerbacher, Terrapin. They have some good beers but most won't cut it. Once the consumer wises up breweries like these will have a lot of beers going bad because no one is buying them just because its craft anymore while their top sellers which are good beers will still sell. Usually in businesses a mediocre product gets the boot to make space for new, hopefully better ones. That's not really happening here since their whole line is selling because of the fad.

    Example: terrapin which I love and live an hour away from. Their WnB is money, Moohoo, big hoppy monster and hopzilla are good. The rest of their beers are too crafty for the BMC consumer and too mediocre for the discerning craft consumer. I love terrapin but don't give me anything I didn't list because it will go down the drain.

    DFH...what can I say that hasn't already been said previously about these guys. I'll buy 60 minute and squall all day but don't give me any of their experimental beers. I've tried enough of them to know they're ok at best and not worth my money. I understand that experimenting is how you get to great beers but producing mediocre level experimental beers for your whole distribution network is gonna be a good way to go out of business once people stop buying them just because its DFH, etc, etc. I bet the reason I've never tasted a mediocre Founder's beer is because I don't live close enough to go to the pub. They don't put any of the mediocre ones into distribution and that's the way to go if you wanna have a viable business once the bubble pops.

    These won't necessarily close but they'll have to do a major overhaul. If you want an example of a brewery that will truly be in the dumps after the fad is over...white birch. I still wonder how the hell they haven't filed for bankruptcy yet
    yemenmocha likes this.
  31. Dweedlebug

    Dweedlebug Disciple (371) Feb 28, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Hopefully we'll be done with jamming as much hops as we can into almost every beer and people will be making other beers in addition to IPA's DIPA's IIPA's and BA Stouts, IStouts and RIStouts.
    BuckeyeSlim and TheFlern like this.
  32. muletrane

    muletrane Initiate (0) Oct 26, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Hologram beer.
    Auror and DrAwkward82 like this.
  33. Pahn

    Pahn Meyvn (1,456) Dec 2, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    if the world stayed the same for 10 years, it would grow and plateau (with the plateau being a good amount higher than we're at now, the most-limited beers being much harder to get, but the majority of what we call "limited" now not being difficult to get).

    however, a lot of it rests on the american economy. honestly, i have no idea what the economy will be like in 10 years. i have some views on such things, but they're nowhere near refined enough to make statements about a particular country's economy in 10 years. given how closely the fate of craft beer is tied to that, the answer is a large and blunt "i don't know."
  34. AndyCarter

    AndyCarter Initiate (169) Feb 23, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    Craft beer, will eventually become a large chunk the whole market, but yet never a majority. There will always be room and a hungry belly for a macro BMC or a macro-owned craft beer. Its clear that America loves a big business; craft distro will increase, and you will see macro distributors (those who are "impartial" but clearly only carry inBev) carry micro across the land.

    The local watering hole will become more popular as people want to eat/drink/etc locally, and prices will deflate to accommodate them (i.e. 14+ for a growler, really?? Just give me my pints!!). I want my IPA hopped up like crazy and the best way to fill my need is local. I also want to support my local economy; as long as my local place is good, ill go their for my brews. I will hope that local places will do one-offs and big beers, but I won't hold my breath as they want to stay profitable to a majority of the market.

    Good economy or bad economy, beer is here to stay. Might see some lesser places fall off, but craft is here for good, and for the good.
  35. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,283) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    Craft beer will all be made in China like everything else.

    No, seriously, with the growth in demand for transportation fuels across the planet, it is likely in 10 years transpo costs will have skyrocketed, and the market will favor local products in general. With the growth of better wine, and better spirits, it is likely more folks will desire better beer. Many larger breweries will gobble many small ones so as to benefit from, or avoid consequences of, the previous 2 points.
    cpinto6 likes this.
  36. BeerSingh

    BeerSingh Initiate (0) Jul 25, 2009 India

    Craft beer ~ 16% of total beer Sales
    Black Tuesday : $5 a bomber
  37. mychalg9

    mychalg9 Champion (849) Apr 8, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I'm hoping for a brewpub in every town in America
    Kumicho, VonZipper and TheFlern like this.
  38. Hanzo

    Hanzo Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    There are over 2000 breweries in the US right now, and that number is growing. This bubble has to burst sooner or later (unless the economy hits a major upswing in the near future). All that will happen though is the solid breweries with good distribution, and the super small local focused breweries will stay, while the mediocre inbetween ones will fold. I don't think we'll really "lose" anything per se.
    Jose2412 and TheFlern like this.
  39. JBogan

    JBogan Champion (827) Jul 15, 2007 California

    The trend lately has been towards cans, and beers available only in bomber sized bottles at inflated prices. So if that continues then eventually I see craft beer available only in bomber sized cans at about $30 each.

    Also, people will have to line up at least one week in advance at most "release day" events.

    25% abv Quintuple IPAs which of course must be consumed within 5 minutes of bottling

    A lot of us will not be able to fit into the pants we are wearing now
    MichPaul, tronester and landhoney like this.
  40. geocool

    geocool Initiate (175) Jun 21, 2006 Massachusetts

    I think there will be a shakeout in a few years. Brewers who need to sell bombers only for high prices will not be able to compete anymore. I predict that some of the better breweries will go under, it won't be just the bad ones. I predict "local" beer will get better just like craft beer nationwide has gotten better. The "eat/drink local" movement isn't a fad any more than craft beer itself is.
    TheFlern likes this.
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