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)
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  1. BreakingBad

    BreakingBad Initiate (0) Sep 17, 2012

    No doubt in the last 2 years there was a huge boom in the craft beer market, especially at limited release parties. But do you feel like we are finally leveling off? do you feel that the growth we saw was just a bubble and that people will realize 200-300 dollars for a BA darklord is absolutely ludacris for such a perishable item? When the economy takes off again do you feel that the people that came to beer because fine wine prices were getting too high for them will go back to wine? Let's try and keep everything civil here and share peoples thoughts on this.
  2. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,305) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    The price of one limited production beer has little relationship to the overall craft beer market.
  3. Homebrew42

    Homebrew42 Initiate (0) Dec 20, 2006 New York

    The growth of the craft beer market has everything to do with beers like Sam Adams Boston Lager and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and little to do with beers like BA Darklord. The perspective of many BAs is skewed as most craft beer drinkers aren't uber beer geeks like many of us, they're just people who drink craft beer.
  4. Highbrow

    Highbrow Devotee (473) Jan 7, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    probably not, but my patience & interest have stopped "expanding".
    Mavajo and Eriktheipaman like this.
  5. 5thOhio

    5thOhio Zealot (501) May 13, 2007 South Carolina

    This guy thinks spell check and an on-line dictionary tells me it's "ludicrous."

    And yes, craft beer will continue to expand based on several factors, including rising costs to travel and ship which will make local breweries more attractive, and the fact brought up in another thread that there are twice as many small wineries as craft breweries, despite the fact that beer drinkers outnumber wine consumers. That indicates there's room for market expansion.

    And I agree the price of a limited release has little to do with the overall market.
    beertunes and FeDUBBELFIST like this.
  6. lucasj82

    lucasj82 Zealot (595) Aug 13, 2009 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    Most of the people I know complain about the price of craft beer and instead go for a cheaper by the case BMC beer. So if the economy improves hopefully their willingness to spend a little extra on quality beer will too. Also girlfriends/wives have requested I bring back over certain beers (usually porters or brown ales) the next time there is a get together and that seems like a underdeveloped demographic that could really help growth continue.
  7. BeerIsland

    BeerIsland Zealot (548) Feb 9, 2003 Pennsylvania

    Clearly expanding in PA
    Retail1LO likes this.
  8. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (2,031) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Supporter Subscriber

    Look at the number of new breweries that recently opened, the number of existing breweries that are adding to their capacity, and the number of breweries in the planning stages vs. the number of breweries that recently closed, and clearly the supply is going to expand. Demand seems to also be expanding because of the number of grocery stores and other non-traditional bottle shops that are adding craft beers to their store line-up.
    afrokaze likes this.
  9. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,316) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    This is true. Over 2000 craft breweries are open in the US, and over 1000 are in the planning stage.
    Here in Michigan there are over 25 new breweries that have been announced. The established ones are expanding capacity rapidly.

    I would say expanding like crazy.
  10. Hanzo

    Hanzo Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    Craft beer is still on a meteoric rise....
    5thOhio and abecall98 like this.
  11. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Defender (637) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    First of all, the title of this post is misleading compared with the poll. While the title makes it seem like the OP was asking a question about the present state of craft beer, it seems by the poll that he really wants to know what people think of the future of craft beer.
    I believe the craft beer market will expand. It's quite simple. Whatever the current market share of craft beer is at the moment, for argument's sake let's say 5%, there are certainly more than 5% of beer drinkers out there who haven't embraced craft beer but are either looking for, ready for or will appreciate a better beer. Therefore, when these beer drinkers get on the band wagon, the market will expand.
  12. glitchedmind

    glitchedmind Initiate (0) May 8, 2012 California

    My wallet is shrinking, and my waistline is expanding.
    I don't know how much of an indication that is, but that's my views.
  13. barleywinefiend

    barleywinefiend Initiate (0) Nov 22, 2007 Washington

    At first I was expecting the trend to continue and climb until market saturation. Well, it's been a few years and the market seems to absorbing new breweries like sponge. Seattle/Tacoma has seen a huge burst of new breweries. Sadly, many of them need to dry up and blow away but somehow these less than stellar breweries keep hanging around giving. I can only think of three reasons why...just spitballing here. If it were about good, craft beer the bad would fall by the wayside. Correct?

    1) They have a little cult following of non-educated palates
    2) Anything new will rise(at least for a while)
    3) Combo of 1 and 2

  14. stupac2

    stupac2 Zealot (518) Feb 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    ...Seriously? Look up the stats. It's growing.
    jrnyc likes this.
  15. jacksback

    jacksback Initiate (0) Jul 20, 2011 Massachusetts

    Continued slow but steady growth (meteoric? lol!) for the forseeable future. With limited release beers that BAs get so excited about continuing to have little to nothing to do with the larger craft beer picture.
  16. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    To answer the title question -- what I feel doesnt matter, its an absolute matter of fact that doesnt depend at all on my feelings.

    As for the poll question, with 2011 as the base, and 2016 as the end of the 5 year period, I predict craft will be 1.60984 times as large in 2016 as 2011.

    In 2011, craft was 11,468,152 bbls according to the brewer's association. So in 2016, that means 18,461,942 bbls.
  17. coreyfmcdonald

    coreyfmcdonald Savant (953) Nov 13, 2008 Georgia
    Beer Trader

    Why did I just waste 5 minutes of my life looking at this thread?
    5thOhio likes this.
  18. glitchedmind

    glitchedmind Initiate (0) May 8, 2012 California

    If you had read the nearly identical thread that was posted last week, you would have wasted 20-30. Count your blessings wherever they may lie.
    coreyfmcdonald likes this.
  19. Hanzo

    Hanzo Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

  20. Errto

    Errto Initiate (0) Oct 20, 2009 Connecticut

    The expansion of the craft beer market, and the expansion (or not) of limited-release parties and such are related, but very distinct, phenomena.

    There is no "feeling" about whether the craft beer is expanding. It is.
    BreakingBad likes this.
  21. StubFaceJoe

    StubFaceJoe Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2011 Colorado

    Apparently Ludacris's new side project is a black metal group called BA darklord. That's sweet.
    LambicKing likes this.
  22. jacksback

    jacksback Initiate (0) Jul 20, 2011 Massachusetts

    That is just an example. And it's from the Denver/CO market, which is already craft-heavy. And that double digit growth in local craft sales has to be taken within the context of 6% national craft sales.

    Double digit growth within that market, unless I'm misunderstanding, within the overall beer sales market would have an effect like moving that craft amount from 6%... to 7% or so.

    Active growth within the CO craft market, but nationally, overall... slow and steady.

    Which is fine- I'd think slow and steady is generally a healthier sign than meteoric... and then back down.
  23. Hanzo

    Hanzo Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    The double digit growth is not just in CO.
  24. jacksback

    jacksback Initiate (0) Jul 20, 2011 Massachusetts

    And yet it still only accounts for less than 10% of national sales. Double digit growth within that niche will still result in relatively small increases in overall national craft sales.

    If and when craft sales break, say, 20% of national beer sales... then maybe we'll have seen something I'd describe as "meteoric".

    Semantics, to each their own. As long as craft sales are growing.
  25. socon67

    socon67 Poo-Bah (1,648) Jun 18, 2010 New York

    If you look at the availability of products, distribution, and growth of business in the industry... it is expanding. Hard to predict anything 5 years out but I'd guess that it will continue to expand in terms of sales. I would not expect quite the number of craft breweries opening up that we see now, but even that it hard to predict.
  26. stupac2

    stupac2 Zealot (518) Feb 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    Dude, it's not semantics, you're just wrong. What matters in growth is the relative number, not the absolute number. When you're starting from a small base it's pretty much impossible to grow in large absolute volumes, but if you keep up a high rate of growth then eventually you'll get there. A growth rate of 10% a year is extremely high, even if you're starting from a small base. If the craft beer market is 6 percent right now it'll only take 12-13 years at 10% growth (which is actually low) to get to 20% of the market (it'll be even faster if macro sales continue to contract, as they did last year). That's extremely quickly for something that's as slow to add capacity as brewing.

    Of course, that's assuming the high growth rate keeps up, which is really the question. No one knows if it will.
    Hanzo likes this.
  27. ScottUCF84

    ScottUCF84 Initiate (0) Apr 7, 2006 Florida

    Numbers aside, I'd say it's definitely expanding in Central Florida, and possibly every metro area in Florida. Every year there are new brewing companies shipping here, and brew pubs/beer bars are on the rise. We have at least 3 brew pubs that I know of here in Central Florida, all of which opened within the last few years. Long-time beer bars like Redlight Redlight are increasing in popularity... just went to their new location and it was by far the largest crowd I've seen there.

    This all being said, the expansion has dealt some collateral damage to the long time craft beer lovers out there.... increase in crowds, supply selling out, etc. I do miss the days when I could peruse the craft beer aisle at a liquor store without tripping over people, but at the same time I'm not going to abandon something I love just because everyone else in the world realized how good craft beer is.
    guillemiro likes this.
  28. LordFoul

    LordFoul Initiate (168) Oct 7, 2012 South Carolina

    It is obviously expanding, and I think it will continue to expand over the next several years. I'm sure we will see a certain percentage of these new breweries close for various reasons, but overall I think there will be sustained growth for several years to come...
  29. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,104) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Exactly, if it's meteoric growth in a market that is already saturated, it would stand to reason that if the national market isn't growing as fast, it soon will be. Let's face it, Colorado has been setting beer trends for a looong time that other people in the nation have taken up and followed. I don't expect that to change anytime soon.
    Alos, if pre-prohibition America could handle the number of breweries they had, we still have ALOT of room to grow.
  30. jacksback

    jacksback Initiate (0) Jul 20, 2011 Massachusetts

    Yeah. 'Cause the term "meteoric" has an absolute definition, right? Dude?

    Craft market is growing. Good stuff, whatever word you use.

    Actually, as per the actual definition, one aspect of meteoric growth would be it's brevity. So obviously, in the minds of our semantic experts here, said craft growth will very quickly end, correct?
  31. kryptic

    kryptic Initiate (0) Sep 3, 2007 Ohio

    Personally, I am looking forward to when everything levels out and the market (hopefully) takes care of itself. So instead of thousands of craft breweries, mostly producing sub-par to mediocre beer, like we have now, there will instead be a couple hundred craft breweries producing good to great beer.
    brewbetter likes this.
  32. brewbetter

    brewbetter Initiate (0) Jun 2, 2012 Nauru

    Rapidly expanding, no signs of shrinking yet. I think there is still a ton of room for more-expensive beers too.

    I also look forward to the day when it starts to level out and the day when good beers aren't insanely hard to find like they are today.
  33. stupac2

    stupac2 Zealot (518) Feb 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader


    1. Of or relating to meteors or meteorites: "meteoric iron".
    2. (of the development of something, esp. a person's career) Very rapid: "her meteoric rise".
    The one we're talking about is clearly sense #2, which just specifies the rate of something. Hence, you are wrong to say that level (20% of sales, or whatever) is what matters, clearly when someone says "craft beer is on a meteoric rise" they mean the rate. If you want to quibble about whether or not 10-13% counts as a meteoric rise, fine, but when you said
    you were using the word incorrectly.

    I also think your argument is facile, because this whole thread is about trends and not levels, which is mostly what I was replying to before.
  34. glitchedmind

    glitchedmind Initiate (0) May 8, 2012 California

    I can go right now and pick up many cases of amazing beer right off the shelf. Maybe you're referring to over hyped BA beers? =)
  35. brewbetter

    brewbetter Initiate (0) Jun 2, 2012 Nauru

    Obviously it depends where you are located, you're in California so of course you have access to great brews. I want regular access to nice sours, fresh IPAs, and yes, some nice BA stouts. Where I am in FL, we really have none of those three.
  36. HopsintheSack

    HopsintheSack Devotee (447) Apr 17, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    In southern Cali it's blowing up like Jessica Simpson.
    MagillaGriller likes this.
  37. glitchedmind

    glitchedmind Initiate (0) May 8, 2012 California

    I'm in central California. The part of California that (craft)beer distributors have just recently discovered existed.
    You couldn't possibly have worse distribution that my city. If it is, I apologize. I didn't know you could get worse.
  38. abecall98

    abecall98 Devotee (448) Aug 11, 2007 California
    Beer Trader

    A better question is, "when will the growth stabalize"? I am just guessing, but I think that by 2016, the number of new breweries will either slowdown or stop, and the crappy breweries will probably fall out. It will happen eventually, but it sure won't happen tomorrow.
  39. VncentLIFE

    VncentLIFE Meyvn (1,417) Feb 16, 2011 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I can only speak for NC, but the sheer volume of craft beer is just crazy. There are breweries popping up in EVERY town. The quality hasnt changed. The upstart breweries (who I root for wholeheartedly), just havent produced an amazing beer yet. Other breweries are entering the state that completely blow these new breweries away. Ill still support them, but only as long as they continue to improve their beer.

    The bubble will burst, and Ill still be left with the big boys of craft and local in NC, so im not too worried.
    barleywinefiend likes this.
  40. LambicKing

    LambicKing Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2011 Germany

    Almost like when Vanilla Ice went hardcore...
    MagillaGriller likes this.
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