What does 2024 look like in your area?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by unlikelyspiderperson, Dec 2, 2023.

  1. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Grand Pooh-Bah (3,850) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    The steady flow of catastrophic predictions for the market has me curious what folks on here.l see for the year ahead in their market.

    In my market, a new brewery opened a couple months ago bringing our county of 136,000 people to 10 or 11 total breweries. I just heard some rumors yesterday that one of our old stalwarts is headed down the drain, but they make shitty beer (imo) and invested huge in a massive new brewery just about 5 or 6 years ago.

    In my wider region, the number of breweries seems pretty steady with any closures being easily explained by business decisions/ individual business circumstances and a reliable stream of replacement breweries coming on line to replace them.

    Maybe this all skews my perspect0ive and other areas are more precarious? Or maybe looming disaster just makes good press. What's it seem like is happening in your neck of the woods?
  2. MistaRyte

    MistaRyte Pooh-Bah (2,397) Jan 14, 2008 Virginia
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    Watching the (potential) Armed Forces brewing opening in Norfolk VA .. while eating popcorn. Just Google, I guess.
  3. elNopalero

    elNopalero Grand Pooh-Bah (4,568) Oct 14, 2009 Michigan
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    I’d like to see some numbers here to counter the ‘doom spiral’ narratives about San Francisco, at least when it comes to craft. Anecdotally, it still seems like the scene is, well, if not thriving at pre-pandemic levels at least on a healthy rebound.
  4. ZebulonXZogg

    ZebulonXZogg Pooh-Bah (2,766) May 5, 2015 Illinois
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    A couple locals closed this year. We dont get seasonals from some regional/nationals anymore.
  5. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Grand Pooh-Bah (3,850) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    I'm not sure about SF proper (although, was the city ever really a beer hot spot?) but the Oakland area seems to be positively booming.
  6. bubseymour

    bubseymour Grand Pooh-Bah (4,656) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
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    On site visitations seem to be still holding strong but not sure if beer consumption by volume is holding steady. In fact one local brewery that’s been around for about 10-12 years now is bringing in a lot more patrons on site over last couple years yet most craft beer enthusiasts feel the quality of their new offerings isn’t up to their usual standards from the past. They expanded both their inside and outside sitting areas I guess which makes it a more pleasing place for locals to hang out. Quality beer just isn’t the draw anymore however, and they don’t even do the hazies, pastries or smoothies either.
  7. zid

    zid Grand Pooh-Bah (3,058) Feb 15, 2010 New York
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    I’d like to meet a craft beer enthusiast that ever felt the opposite. :wink:
  8. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Grand High Pooh-Bah (7,282) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
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    To quote one of the smartest people I've ever met: It'll be the same, just different.
  9. Steve_Studnuts

    Steve_Studnuts Maven (1,281) Apr 21, 2015 Pennsylvania

    Blastin' farts and breakin' hearts, bro.

    2024 in a nutshell.
  10. rugene

    rugene Pundit (803) Mar 2, 2015 Canada (QC)

    Many microbreweries in Quebec have lost money in 2023, so many will close down in the next months. With too many breweries it was predictable as people have seen the prices going up and statistically are drinking fewer beers and searching for non-alcoholic beer.
  11. ChicagoJ

    ChicagoJ Grand Pooh-Bah (4,073) Feb 2, 2015 Illinois
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    I believe in the city (Chicago) we lost more breweries than we gained in 2023. I would guess the suburbs held steady or slightly added overall. The newer creative breweries have been opening in the suburbs / far suburbs since the lockdowns (Goldfinger, Roaring Table), where it’s easier to operate in terms of laws, business environment, costs and crime.

    I expect a continued decline overall in brewery count in 2024 locally, and for me to continue shifting my dollars to tried and true locals (and beyond) over exploring new and untapped for me breweries beyond trusted recommendations.

    In Vegas, a few new breweries either just opened or will expand. They held steady in 2023 (a few opened, a few closed, a few sold and remain open). Their market is not as saturated. I visit a higher total number of different breweries in a few weeks than I do at home over the rest of the year. The quality (good / solid) is more level in Vegas whereas in Chicago there is a much wider divergence in quality that I’ve experienced.
  12. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Grand Pooh-Bah (3,181) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    I wonder if continued high prices (e.g., inflation) will be impactful to the many craft breweries in my area. Have consumers purchased less beer (e.g., decreasing beer volume sales) in 2023? And if so, can breweries still remain in business if this is the case?

    I suspect that craft breweries that have a heavy debt burden (e.g., recently took out loans for expansion or other business reasons) may have to make the difficult decision to close.

    I can report that this year I have been drinking more of my homebrewed beers and my purchase of commercially brewed beers has decreased. Everything is just too damn expensive these days.:grimacing:

    Amendm, Jakrabbit, lucius10 and 4 others like this.
  13. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Pooh-Bah (2,629) May 3, 2016 Illinois
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    Hopefully 2024 is the year of falling beer prices while maintaining quality. Brewers need to focus on efficiencies to lower their costs so they can lower their prices and move more product. I’m amazed at the amount of good beer options out that I just don’t buy because of high pricing and given how many good special releases near me don’t sell out any more and then sit in stores or breweries so I’m not the only one who feels this way.
    Amendm, eppCOS, lucius10 and 2 others like this.
  14. LesDewitt4beer

    LesDewitt4beer Grand Pooh-Bah (4,676) Jan 25, 2021 Minnesota
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    2024 looks hazy with a 40% chance of meatballs. :laughing:
    But seriously, I see a lot of change coming up in what could evolve into a wave of sorts. I hope not. A number of small breweries and or taprooms just in the metro area have served their last pint. Some are doing alright, I think. For lack of a better way to put it, small breweries here multiplied rapidly, then there was the pandemiic with all of the costly determination to stay in business and be social, and then there's an aluminum can shortage, then the prices of beer went up like crazy high, and now a number of landlords won't renew leases. There's plenty more. In short it's a one-two punch recently (echoing the past 3 yrs) that knocked the wind out of both consumer and brewer and so it's a draw. I hope craft beer things here stabilize and that a big wave of closings doesn't tear through.
  15. Blogjackets

    Blogjackets Grand Pooh-Bah (3,842) Nov 22, 2017 Ohio
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    A local trend I’m seeing and wondering if it will advance in 2024 is the movement back to twelve ounce cans. A few breweries (E.g. Fat Head’s) are releasing fewer beers in pints than in previous years. Anyone else seeing this change?
  16. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Grand Pooh-Bah (5,291) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Pooh-Bah Society

    The area of Michigan that I watch closely (SW MI) has essentially been status quo this year, and I've heard nothing new to change that for next year.

    I think the rest of the state has had several new breweries open this year, but not any great number of them. Some have been in small towns that I wouldn't think can support a brewery, but with most breweries in the state are also an eatery, so maybe the food sales will support the beer.

    I don't know the numbers for openings and closings, but I'll guess that 2023 saw a net increase of the number of breweries here. Next year? I don't have a clue.
  17. ESHBG

    ESHBG Pooh-Bah (2,099) Jul 30, 2011 Pennsylvania
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    The issue that I am seeing is just because you know how to brew beer this does not necessarily mean that you know how to run a business and there's been missteps that will most likely prove to be very costly and will come to fruition in 2024. 2023 was a bloodbath here as far as brewery closures (and maybe not the total amount but more the fixtures that had good stuff and/or good food and a few were surprising). Yes, the business climate is still tough but some are still banking on how it was years ago when craft beer was very popular where as long as your beer was new and decent you were going to get customers...those days are over.

    I am also seeing a dip in quality. Besides some beers just tasting cheaper than they used to I've had a few canned beers recently from various breweries and I noticed a metallic can taste and the aluminum was much thinner. Probably not the breweries' fault and at the mercy of the supplier but when prices go up and overall quality goes down, there is going to be a problem.
  18. BruChef

    BruChef Pundit (933) Nov 8, 2009 New York

    Yogi Berra?
    Amendm, Rocktire, ChicagoJ and 2 others like this.
  19. NorsemanOne

    NorsemanOne Pooh-Bah (2,069) Sep 17, 2021 Utah
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    Status quo, with one brewery closed during covid hopefully reopening in a new location.
    Ever the push for new legislation regarding higher abv on draft/availability in grocery stores or better yet the end of state run distribution.
    Amendm, ChicagoJ and PapaGoose03 like this.
  20. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Grand Pooh-Bah (3,181) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Society

    One anecdotal local data point is that this year Conshohocken Brewing decided to package one of their brands (Ring the Bell Pilsner) in 12 ounce cans in a 12-pack. That beer is also available in the 16 ounce/four-pack can format (like all of the other brands). If Conshohocken decided to expand with other brands in the 12 ounce format then I would suggest a 'trend' might be happening.

    My preference is the 12 ounce/six-pack format and whenever I see a fresh pack of Fat Heads Head Hunter IPA at my local supermarket I buy it (and sometimes even two six-packs).

    Cheers to 12 ounce/six-packs!!!!!!