Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries

August 13, 2012

Beer Diary:


The popularity of craft beer is exploding.
by Rings

Rings is an equal opportunity imbiber. He can also be found sampling his way across multiple continents, or wasting time at and Prost!
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The news is just too good not to share.

Craft beer is exploding, even as overall beer sales—and particularly the mass-market industrial sales—are stagnant or falling.

News: Craft Beer Sales Expands

News: Craft Sales Continue to Soar

News: Number of Breweries at 125 Year High

As we’ve mentioned in the past, this is likely part of an overall trend for “local” and towards quality that’s expressed itself in many areas of the American market over the past few years. Other examples include the growth of farmers markets, organic foods, cooking shows (and the celebrity chefs), gourmet coffee, and fresh dining.

None of these issues are to be “fixed” with marketing dollars, which has been the preferred weapon of industrial brewers since the post-Prohibition and post-war consolidation. In fact, the big brewers continue to align to use market share and distribution power as a weapon against craft competitors, who now amount to roughly 6 percent of the overall other words, plenty of room to grow. What remains to be seen, in the information age, is whether consumers will continue to seek out local alternatives as a choice, rather than settle for what’s most readily available.

As I’ve pointed out, in having this discussion with others, the modern young adult turning age 21 realizes that the “best” beer is most likely local or craft … rather than a generation ago, when young adults considered a “premium” light lager, such as Michelob or Heineken, to represent the finest example of the fermented arts. This realization is a battle lost for the industry giants, at least for now. Consumers are becoming less appreciative of the consistency the big “commodity beers” represent, in favor of the flavor, romanticism, and creativity found in their non-advertising, word-of-mouth competitors.

And the beer wars continue …

Drinkin’ And Thinkin’

Beer Dorks News

Want to know how healthy the craft beer industry is? As always, look to Portland. Craft pioneer Bridgeport announces sudden closure, adding to a growing list of PDX casualties.
Did Anheuser-Busch Chicago offer their shit beer to Cody Parkey before his missed field goal? Because that may explain why he "accidentally" biffed it.
Chicago now has the most breweries of any city in the country. Other things Chicago has the most of: murders, mobsters, and Ditkas.
Trying to spin it positive, BA releases end of year graphic. Only 5% growth in the craft sector when nearly 1000 new breweries opened? That's a collapse waiting to happen.
R.I.P. Tallgrass... another casualty as the regional/national craft beer market continues to get squeezed.
Wait... Constellation Brands cut all of the Ballast Point and Funky Buddha sales staff? They merged it with their Corona/Modelo staff?? We're SHOCKED!!!
Pizza Beer founder crying about failure of company, blames everyone else. Reminder, the beer tasted like vomit. Try having better ideas or making better products so you're not a failure.
It's Bud Light so doesn't really matter, but we expect this beer to be sitting around for awhile.
Indiana brewery to open with controversial beer names to "get the conversation going". Translation: taking advantage of serious issues for free publicity.
Hundreds of amazing beers in Wisconsin and the Cubs took back the one everyone drinks just because it exists and people have heard of it. How fitting...