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. BB1313

    BB1313 Poo-Bah (2,442) Jul 16, 2009 Ohio

    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 Initiate (0) 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 Initiate (0) Aug 20, 2012

    My wallet says it is expanding
  4. MagillaGriller

    MagillaGriller Initiate (0) Aug 20, 2012

    That's a lotta beer. BeerWatchers
  5. dennho

    dennho Initiate (0) Oct 29, 2006 New York

    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 Poo-Bah (4,722) Sep 24, 2007 Washington
    Beer Trader

    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. barleywinefiend

    barleywinefiend Initiate (0) Nov 22, 2007 Washington

    Good point. However, I would not want someones first craft beer experience fall pray to Wingman.
    beertunes likes this.
  8. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (4,722) Sep 24, 2007 Washington
    Beer Trader

    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. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Crusader (752) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    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. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (12,188) Mar 18, 2010 California

    That's what you get for living in Bakes.
  12. glitchedmind

    glitchedmind Initiate (0) May 8, 2012 California

    Yeah I know. :/ it is getting better though, drastically better.
  13. barleywinefiend

    barleywinefiend Initiate (0) Nov 22, 2007 Washington

    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. HumphreyLee

    HumphreyLee Initiate (0) Jan 15, 2011 Pennsylvania

    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 Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    darknova306 likes this.
  16. chcfan

    chcfan Devotee (466) Oct 29, 2008 California

    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 Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    Do you have any evidence of a bubble?
  18. VncentLIFE

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

    no, but the growth is just so crazy fast. at least in my neck of the woods
  19. stupac2

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

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

    gopher40 Initiate (0) Aug 31, 2009 Michigan

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

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    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. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,016) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    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 Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    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 Crusader (701) Apr 27, 2006 Washington

    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. Levitation

    Levitation Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2009 California

    this isn't about empirical data. it's whether we feel the market is shrinking or expanding.
    jmw likes this.
  26. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,016) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    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. Zimbo

    Zimbo Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2010 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    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 Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

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

    DogTown Initiate (135) May 17, 2006 California

    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 Crusader (701) Apr 27, 2006 Washington

    Feel, rlcoffey....feel.

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

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

    Like, woah, man.
  32. Casedogg43

    Casedogg43 Initiate (0) Jan 4, 2012 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    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 Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2011 Illinois

    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. Levitation

    Levitation Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2009 California

    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 Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky


    Being fact based is negative? I thought it was being positive and optimistic?
  36. reverseapachemaster

    reverseapachemaster Aspirant (244) Sep 21, 2012 Texas
    Beer Trader

    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. sandiego67

    sandiego67 Initiate (0) Feb 25, 2008 California

    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 Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    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 Disciple (342) May 1, 2011 Maine

    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 Devotee (467) Dec 12, 2011 New York

    can you provide a source for this data? thanks.
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