That being said, boy is craft beer doing well! It’s killing it, both as an industry and as a sub-culture of popular society in multiple developed nations around the world. American craft beer is doing particularly well, approaching a total of 4,000 active breweries in 2015 and – as reported this week – getting the credit for doubling Q1 growth of American beer exports from 4% in 2014 to 8% growth in 2015.
Growth seems to be great for niche industries, and craft beer is no exception. In fact, things are so positive for craft beer right now that it’s garnering a lot of attention that it never saw in the lowly days of several years ago. It’s getting write-ups from every form of media outlet, politicians at all levels of government are pandering to it and market-leading, beer manufacturing giants are all panicking about it. But, if you know anything about markets, you know that growth and good times don’t last forever and that not all market players and observers share the enthusiasm of the market actors creating all the success. One of the most certain things to occur in a time of boom like craft beer is experiencing is that there will be detractors.
Speculation of and end to craft beer’s rise isn’t anything new. It’s easy to find articles written in the aftermath of the 2011 acquisition of Goose Island by AB-Inbev whose copy nearly shiver off the screen from fear of a reinvigorated Big Beer inspired to begin an American conquest. We’ve been reading how hops shortages are going to cause an a 12oz can of IPA to cost over ten bucks for over a year, now. And the bubble – that horse has been pulverized to the point that it’s ready for use as adjunct in a batch of Bud Light.
Now, it is perfectly reasonable to wear a hat of cautious optimism if you’re a brewer, distributor, retailer or drinker of good damn beer. What we are all seeing happening; however, seems to have the intent to put a deeper fear in all of our hearts. It bears pointing out, too, that we’re all fed a pretty steady diet of each of the craft beer extinction theories. Just this week, in fact, we saw these stories: Can craft beer survive AB, ABA defends against bubble speculation and [very oddly] IPAs Cause Man Boobs.
So, there. If you weren’t scared for your favorite beer before, you’ve got plenty reason to start stockpiling some age-able brews now. What we want to know is do any of the stories you’re reading put the fear of no hops in you. Please answer our poll question.
Which of these do you feel has the ability to most affect the prosperity of the craft beer industry?
Total Voters: 160
Link to original chart at Statista.com