Move over, Bud Light. Beer drinkers’ palates are expanding, and microbreweries are giving them exactly what they are asking for. Whether you are grabbing drinks with some friends for happy hour or getting a bite to eat before a night out on the town, you have probably been bombarded by endless options of new craft beers – a phenomenon that is sweeping the nation. Though there are still beer drinkers out there who will never give up their Coronas and Coors Lights, the craft beer trend has skyrocketed in recent years. Craft beer market growth is booming in 2018 and has reached 12.7% volume of all U.S. beer market by volume. This era of craft beers has been coming in hot in recent years, and microbreweries continue to innovate with unique and exciting new flavors for the consumers who crave them.
What is Craft Beer?
Craft beer is identified as “small, independent, and traditional,” as defined by the Brewers’ Association based in Colorado. This means that the brewery that produces it cannot distribute more than six million barrels of beer a year, cannot be owned more than 25% by a non-craft beer brewery, and must output beer with ingredients that stem from traditional ingredients and their fermentation. These flavors, though derived from traditional ingredients, provide a different and unique flavor – something new and exciting built off the existing, old-fashioned beers that have created quite a following.
Why is Craft Beer So Popular?
Craft beer has drawn a lot of attention in recent years, which has led to overall craft beer market growth. The western United States is leading the pack with the highest number of breweries per city, but the phenomenon is countrywide. The success and growth of the craft beer market is attributed to a few impactful factors:
Beer drinkers are becoming more adventurous.
Traditional beers are falling by the wayside as beer drinkers are opting for fuller-flavored beers. Hoppy beers are becoming more widely liked by the beer-drinking population, which is attributed to an increase in craft beer consumption, especially Indian Pale Ales, seasonal beers, and Belgians.
Breweries are experimenting to keep up.
Because consumers’ palates are quickly evolving and expanding, breweries are keeping up with the trends. They continue to grow and innovate with new flavors and hops to keep business booming.
Retailers are making them more available.
Retailers have caught on to the craft beer fad as well. There has been a noticeable spike in demand for new flavors and styles of beers, and retailers now offer a wider variety, expanding their inventory with both traditional and craft beers.
Beer companies are making craft beer portable.
Many craft beer favorites are now being offered in cans. This is a much more portable option for beer drinkers whether they are out on the golf course or lounging poolside with friends. The portability of these new flavors makes it easier for everyone to enjoy their favorite brews in almost any atmosphere.
There is a social element.
Now more than ever, bars are offering stacked options of beers – traditional and craft. It is not uncommon to walk into a bar and see a list of craft beers with diverse, exotic flavors. Microbreweries also offer classes and events in which you and your friends can brew your own beers. Some also have a beer tasting rooms, which allows for fun nights out to be centered around this craft beer sensation.
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So if you think your restaurant or bar wants to jump on this successful and widely popular trend of craft beer consumption, sooner rather than later is better. Whether your bar is serving up institutional names like Budweiser or the local brew from the city over, ensuring that your establishment is capturing all revenue possible and minimizing the costs is crucial for your success.
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