Craft beer has gone from a niche offering to being a necessity!
At this moment in time offering craft beers is a great way to bring in more business!
Many customers expect to see craft brews on tap. Even the local sports bars and small town watering holes have gotten in on the craze.
But is the craft beer boom about to lose its head?
“The days when you could open a brewery and really try to learn your path are over you need a good plan from the get-go.” Mike Stevens, CEO of Founders Brewing in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Stevens and partner Dave Engbers quit their jobs and borrowed money to open Founders in 1997. He said it took several years to find their footing and sort out branding. Founder’s is now a national player and one of the country’s fastest growing breweries, distributing to 25 states and counting.
What looms over all of this is what happened in the 1990’s.
An explosion of brewpubs followed a business trend and then bottomed out, I remember going to Hops in Clearwater when I arrived in Florida in 1991 and before I knew it I their doors had been closed!
“Back then, everybody who thought they were a home brewer could jump in and make commercial beer,” Stevens says. “The new problem is everybody wants to get in the game, experienced or not.”
Get a chilled mug fill it with your favorite brew of the month and let’s see what some experts have to say about the future of craft beer…
Sales of craft beer grew 18% by volume and 20% by dollars last year, Brewers Association Staff Economist Bart Watson said during a panel at the International Wine, Spirits and Beer event at the National Restaurant Association this past May.
On-premise sales of craft beer continue to grow, and many markets are nearing what Watson calls “tap saturation,” with the maximum number of tap handles being occupied by craft beers.
Watson went straight to the brewer’s mouths, pockets and connoisseurs. He led a panel discussion with a representative from a large brewing company, a small craft brewer and an editor from a beer magazine to get their top tips on how restaurants can make the most of their craft beer programs.
One of the biggest takeaways from the panel- Don’t offer only craft beers.
It’s important to make sure your craft beer is adding value to your restaurant’s customers but, you also still need to cater to the general population in order to keep customers happy, and for many this means drinking big brand names such as Bud Light, Miller Lite, Heineken and Stella.
When choosing a craft beer lineup, try partnering with a local brewer. It can encourage customers to explore and experiment; with over 3,000 breweries in the country it’s not hard to find a local brewer.
Learning How To Taste Beer: 101 | Beer Geek Nation Craft Beer
There are plenty of reasons for optimism.
Craft beer’s current 6.5-percent market share is 15 percent bigger than it was last year it also marks three straight years of double-digit growth for craft beer.
At last check, there were 136 breweries in Oregon, up 50 percent over two years ago and more are coming.
There are still plenty of drinkers out there for craft beer to attract.
Friends turn each other on to new things, music, clothes and craft beer, and it spreads.
Once again social media like Facebook, Twitter and beer-rating websites nonexistent in the early 90’s—have given craft beer a big edge.
Craft beer drinkers are always looking for new releases, seasonal beers, and with cult-like followings.
At this point jump on the beer wagon, read up on what’s cold in a hot trend and choose beers that will help you attract new customers and maybe even gain a reputation for having one of the best beer selections in town.