Last year, the brewing industry surfed the choppy waves of carbon dioxide shortages, a tight labor market, and spiking expenses, as inflation impacted everything from cans to grains to freight.
“Nearly everything costs more than it did before the pandemic,” says Bart Watson, the chief economist at the Brewers Association. “Brewers haven’t been able to fully pass those costs onto customers, meaning lower margins.”
Compounding matters, “capital is harder to come by and COVID-19-related government aid programs have come to an end,” says Justin Catalana, the CEO and cofounder of Fort Point Beer Company in San Francisco.
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With draft sales yet to reach pre-pandemic heights, breweries are right-sizing for a profitable future. The Lost Abbey in San Marcos, California, is reducing its brewery’s square footage and selling its 30-barrel brewing system, downsizing to a smaller setup. Modern Times, which Maui Brewing bought in 2022, closed five West Coast taprooms last year, and Epic Brewing also shut its Denver brewery and taproom. According to David Cole, the Salt Lake City brewery’s founder, volume had dropped so much that the overhead was no longer feasible.
Seeking new sales opportunities, breweries will continue exploring sparkling hop water, ready-to-drink cocktails (like Boston Beer Company’s Loma Vista Tequila Soda), and beverage crossovers, including the forthcoming Cantaritos by Jarritos hard soda from Anheuser-Busch InBev. Facing another year of uncertainty and evolving customer tastes, here are six more trends that will guide the brewing industry throughout 2023.
1. Consumers Seek Value in Bulk Beer and Higher Alcohol Levels
Inflation is ballooning, and “we’re seeing signals that the dollar needs to go farther for consumers,” says Jamie Wideman, the vice president of innovation for Molson Coors Beverage Company. “To remain relevant and competitive, brands need to add value.”
Consumers will start seeking brands that deliver “the most bang for their buck,” says Jimmy Seifrit, the senior brewmaster at 10 Barrel Brewing Co. in Bend, Oregon. That could mean buying in bulk, such as 10 Barrel’s 18-pack of Pub Beer that might sell for $15, or seeking “higher-ABV products to get more buzz for the dollar.”
In fall 2021, 10 Barrel introduced the All Ways Down double IPA that weighs in at 9% ABV, part of a broader push toward stronger beers. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. makes Big Little Thing, also 9% ABV, and New Belgium Brewing is led by the Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA (9%) and Juice Force IPA (9.5%), the latter set to be released in 12-packs in 2023.
The trend has also buoyed Redhook Brewery’s trio of brawny Big Ballard IPAs, says Jason Dodson, the Seattle brewery’s brand manager. The growing franchise includes an 8.6% ABV imperial version sold in 18-packs of 12-ounce cans for around $20 to $23.
Higher levels of alcohol is changing “the conversation about how to define value in the craft segment,” says Dodson.
2. Breweries Will Trim SKUs and Focus on Specific Styles
Increasing competition for shelf placements in grocery and liquor stores will lead breweries to eliminate slow-moving brands and rally around core beers. Prioritizing profitability “will result in smaller distribution footprints and tighter portfolios of the highest-performing SKUs,” says Catalana, where the flagship is the kölsch-style ale KSA. “Fort Point is focused on doing fewer things better.”
The industry is glutted with copycat beers. Does the world need another hazy IPA? The Bruery and its sister brand, Offshoot Beer Co., based in Placentia, California, are reducing the beers they package and market “unless they are truly different,” says CEO and cofounder Barry Holmes.
Focusing on fewer beers can help breweries better weather the vagaries of ingredient availability. Moreover, a tight beer portfolio “makes it easier to keep really fresh beer in the marketplace,” says Matt Riggs, the brewer and owner of Riggs Beer Company, in Urbana, Illinois, which produces four year-round beers, including a hefeweizen and American lager.
Instead of aiming to appease everyone, breweries will also double down on “specific styles of beer,” says freelance journalist Beth Demmon, the author of the forthcoming The Beer Lover’s Guide To Cider. Sacred Profane Brewing in Biddeford, Maine, only makes two kinds of beer, a pale and dark lager, eliminating overwhelming choice and appealing to drinkers “seeking quality over quantity.”
3. Breweries Reclaim Carbon Dioxide in the Face of Supply Chain Disruptions
The carbon dioxide shortage will cause innovation to “grow as brewers look for ways to solve gas supply availability and lessen dependence on delivery,” says Julia Herz, the executive director of the American Homebrewers Association.
In November, New Glarus Brewing in Wisconsin, finished installing equipment to reclaim its carbon dioxide, which is compressed into liquid and stored for later usage. Texas company Earthly Labs created the CiCi system that lets breweries capture, purify, and reuse carbon dioxide created during fermentation. (Roadhouse Brewing, Trillium Brewing, and Alvarado Street Brewery are among the breweries using the technology.)
Breweries are also turning to a traditional technique called spunding to naturally carbonate beers, trapping carbon dioxide in tanks during fermentation. “We purchased a few more spunding valves to allow us to carbonate more of our beer naturally,” says Logan Ackerley, the head brewer at Wallenpaupack Brewery in Hawley, Pennsylvania.
Maximizing resources benefits the environment and bottom line. “Most of these choices also impact the efficiency of making beer, which saves money,” says Brandon Proff, the managing partner at Our Mutual Friend Brewing Co. in Denver.
4. Global Crises Spur More Local Beers
The ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia, which together export more than a quarter of the world’s wheat, and a terrible harvest for European hops—German crops dropped around 20 percent, while Czech yields fell more than 40 percent from 2021—will lead breweries to look closer to home for raw materials.
“My hope is that brewers will see that locally sourced ingredients can be reliable when times are uncertain,” says Andrea Stanley, the owner and maltster of Valley Malt in Holyoke, Massachusetts, which makes malts with locally grown barley, rye, wheat, and more.
To that end, researchers are developing barley varieties able to weather distinct climates, says Brent Manning, the cofounder of Riverbend Malt House in Asheville, North Carolina. It worked with Virginia Tech to create Avalon, a disease-resistant winter variety that can handle heavy rainfall. Such efforts will “support a more diverse and durable crop of quality malting barley for the challenges ahead,” says Manning.
Going local is also a good sales pitch. “You can connect with your community if you can say your ingredients are coming from a farm down the street,” says Zeke Ottemiller, the beer brand marketing manager for Crooked Hammock Brewery, which is based in Lewes, Delaware, and sources grains from the nearby Proximity Malt.
Tapping into a region’s unique natural bounty can also deliver market differentiation. At Ferment Brewing in Hood River, Oregon, brewmaster Dan Peterson captured local yeast that lends a touch of banana and lemony zing to its White River Saison. The brewery also works with the local forestry department to pick Douglas fir tips for its Woodsmen Porter, the landscape in liquid form. “Forests and farms just outside of town can provide a deeper layer of terroir,” says Peterson.
5. Beer Merch and Variety Beer Packs Offer Sales Opportunities
The pandemic caused a spike in online shopping, and the digital shift will continue to lead breweries to emphasize online sales for merchandise and, where legally permitted, beer. Tree House Brewing, based in Charlton, Massachusetts, offers house-roasted coffee, pennants, spare-tire covers, and even Tree House trading cards featuring crew members.
“As online shopping increases, we’re willing to try more,” says Erin Smith, the vice president of marketing for Stone Brewing in Escondido, California. The brewery sends beer directly to three states, plus Washington, D.C., and ships clothing, condiments, candles, and more nationwide.
With most anything available by clicking a button, breweries are looking to make it easier to buy beers by creating variety packs. In December, Stone debuted a mixed six-pack featuring Delicious IPA and the new Double Delicious and Citrus Delicious IPAs.
Variety packs are also fostering aftermarket interactivity. Primary Colors Brewing of Chicago produces a mixed six-pack featuring three different styles, such as a gose, hazy IPA, and Belgian pale, and encourages customers to try blending the beers.
The Most Wonderful Beer of the Year variety 12-pack from Tröegs Independent Brewing includes six different beers, and customers are encouraged to combine Grand Cacao Chocolate Stout and DreamWeaver Wheat with the Mad Elf holiday ale.
6. Taprooms Will Become Attractive Interactive Hubs
People are dropping masks and making plans with family and friends, seeking compelling places to gather that meet the needs of the young, old, and every age in between. A bland taproom only offering cold beer won’t cut it.
“A unique taproom experience will continue to be a major factor when deciding where to spend time and money,” says Ackerley. Wallenpaupack’s second taproom, which opened in 2021 in nearby Tafton, Pennsylvania, is called the Wake Zone and features indoor golf and sports simulators alongside a family friendly menu of flatbreads, tacos, and sliders.
Just outside of Rochester in Honeoye Falls, New York, Okay Beer Company opened in 2022 inside a bowling alley where customers can roll on 16 lanes, then crush house-made cream ales, cocktails, and smashburgers; there’s a kid’s menu too.
In August 2022, F.X. Matt Brewing Co. in Utica, New York, opened its outdoor biergarten that was “designed with the customer experience as priority No. 1,” vice president of operations Dan Voce says of the space that serves up concerts and experimental beers.
Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina, is focusing on recreation at its 40-acre property, offering sand volleyball, a wooded hiking trail, disc golf course, run club, and corn hole league. “We’re finding success in developing our destination brewery,” says president and CEO Leah Wong Ashburn, “for people to engage with our brand where the beer is made.”
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Contributing editorJoshua M. Bernsteinis a beer, spirits, food, and travel journalist, as well as an occasional tour guide, event producer, and industry consultant. He writes for theNew York Times, Men’s Journal, New Yorkmagazine,Wine Enthusiast,andImbibe,where he’s a contributing editor in charge of beer coverage. Bernstein is also the author of five books:Brewed Awakening, The Complete Beer Course, Complete IPA, Homebrew World, andDrink Better Beer.
Breweries will increasingly embrace the Internet of Things (IoT) in the future, using technology such as RDIF tagging, GPS shipment tracking, programmable logic controllers, and sensors to automate beer production.What are the key success factors for the beer industry? ›
The most important for the craft beer production industry are the establishment of a brand name, control of distribution arrangements and having a good reputation. The nature of brewpubs and serve-on-site businesses allow brewers to put their products directly in the faces of their consumers.What beer sales tell us about the recession? ›
There's been a 27.5% increase of beer sales in stores over the same period last year. And so while lower-priced beer has seen a surge, it has actually been losing market share, according to IRI's data. Subpremium beer is lagging behind imports, which are up 15%, and craft beer, which is up almost 23%.What is the brewery industry outlook? ›
Revenue for the Breweries industry is expected to decline an annualized 2.0% to $33.6 billion over the five years to 2023, including 1.3% growth in 2022 alone, when profit will reach 2.2%....What are the new innovations in beer industry? ›
Breweries are adopting IoT, AI, and machine learning, big data, edge computing, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to create more automated production processes. This embraces different departments, from product design, packaging, manufacturing, and QA to logistics.What are the six leading success factors? ›
“six success factors” — focused, directed, nurtured, engaged, connected, and valued (see sidebar, Six Success Factors Defined).What are the four most common beer problems? ›
Common faults originating in the brewery include bacterial spoilage, ingredient variation, haze, and improper carbonation level. Bacterial spoilage is perhaps the most feared of beer faults, especially for nonpasteurizing breweries.What sells well during a recession? ›
- Consumer staples. There are some items that you need no matter what the stock market is doing. ...
- Camping gear. Lavish vacations to distant lands are not as attractive during recessions. ...
- Automotive parts. ...
- Coffee and tea. ...
- Tupperware. ...
- Candy. ...
- Cosmetics. ...
- Pet care products.
However, while beer is shrinking in market size, sales are actually up. Wall Street, in turn, likes liquor companies such as Constellation that make premium, higher-priced beer. “There's pockets of growth,” said Bart Watson, chief economist for the Brewers Association.Do people still buy beer in a recession? ›
Folks in our industry often say that beer sales are “recession-proof,” and with good reason. Beer is cheaper than other alcoholic beverages, and it's also an important feature of socializing for many people, making consumers loath to give it up, even during times of financial difficulty.
Sales of leading beer companies
AB InBev, also known as Anheuser-Busch InBev, generated over 46 billion U.S. dollars in sales in 2021, making it by far the leading beer company worldwide.
Persistent Environmental Challenges
By its very nature, this industry depends extensively upon regional environmental conditions. In addition, many fine craft beers require water containing specific mineral combinations. Reportedly, every gallon of craft beer results in up to seven gallons of water during production.
Though used in varying proportions depending on the style being made, ALL beer is made from grain, hops, yeast, and water.What beers are going away? ›
- Bud Dry.
- Miller High Life Light.
- Pete's Wicked Ale.
- Midnight Sun M.
- Meister Brau.
- Pretty Things Jack D'Or.
- Southampton Black Raspberry Lambic.
Anheuser-Busch InBev, the global leader in beer manufacturing, produces prominent beer brands such as Budweiser, Bud Light, Corona, Stella Artois and Beck's.
Budweiser. Budweiser beer is an American lager brewed by Anheuser-Busch. With the unofficial title of “The King of Beers,” it is no wonder why Budweiser tops this list of America's most popular beers.What state sells the most beer? ›
Brand value of leading beer brands worldwide in 2021 (in million U.S. dollars)
|Characteristic||Brand value in million U.S. dollars|
- Define success. Your success is different from my success. ...
- Create a clear plan for it. The more clear that you are on what your success looks like, the more information you'll have to create a plan for it. ...
- Plan your pitfalls. ...
- Accountability. ...
- Take action. ...
- Weekly meetings.
The five critical success factors are strategic focus, people, operations, marketing, and finances.What are the 9 Factors Influencing success? ›
- Education. Research shows that the highest-paid people are the ones who have an education and who know more than the average person. ...
- Skill. ...
- Contacts. ...
- Money. ...
- Good work habits. ...
- Positive mental attitude. ...
- Positive image. ...
The three key things that all long-lasting companies share, he posited, are: Great vision. Great financial management. Great people.What are the 10 critical success factors? ›
- Positive attitude (toward work). One of the most important factors in my opinion. ...
- Proficiency in field of study. ...
- Communication skills (oral and written). ...
- Interpersonal skills. ...
- Confidence. ...
- Critical thinking and problem-solving skills. ...
- Flexibility. ...
- Agree on the project goals. ...
- Develop clearly defined plans with assigned responsibilities and accountabilities. ...
- Manage the project scope effectively. ...
- Cultivate constant effective communications. ...
- Make sure you have management support.
The three biggest enemies of beer are light, oxygen, and heat. So if you think about it, cans eliminate the first two hazards.Who are the best beer drinkers? ›
- Czech Republic — 181.7.
- Austria — 96.9.
- Poland — 96.0.
- Romania — 95.0.
- Germany — 92.5.
- Estonia — 84.4.
- Namibia — 83.4.
- Lithuania — 83.4.
- What are the top selling beer formats? ...
- The top selling beer of 2020 is Bud Light: ...
- The number 2 best selling beer: Corona Extra. ...
- #3 best beer on the list is: Michelob Ultra. ...
- #4 is Coors Light from the Molson Coors Brewing Company. ...
- Coming in at #5 is Miller Lite. ...
- The number 6 top beer is Budweiser. ...
- #7 is Heineken.
While no investment is guaranteed to be recession-proof, some tend to perform better than others during downturns. These include health care and consumer staples stocks (or funds tracking those sectors), large-cap stocks and income investments.What are people buying the most of right now? ›
- Apple AirPods Pro. ...
- Gaming consoles like Nintendo Switch, Xbox and PS5. ...
- Slippers. ...
- Squishmallows. ...
- A MasterClass subscription. ...
- Air purifiers. ...
- Advent calendars. ...
- Winc wine subscription.
- The easiest way to get rich during a recession is to invest as much money into the stock market as you can. ...
- Most important is that if you're spending less, you'll have more money available to put into the stock market. ...
- By reducing your expenses, you also give yourself more breathing room if your income decreases.
The germinated seed are then killed by slow heating at 80° This process is called kilning. The kilning temperature must not harm amylase enzyme. Furthermore, if kilning temperature is higher, darker will be the beer produced.
The cultural change in young people has been reported as the biggest factor as to why drinking rates have declined, and its not just an American trend, with the number of drinkers internationally decreasing by almost 5% since 2000, from 47.6% to 43.0%, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).Is beer market shrinking? ›
But in other provinces, beer sales for both retail and service have dropped significantly. The largest drop so far this year has been in the province of Quebec. Beer sales have dropped 13.3% compared to last year. In Saskatchewan, sales have dropped by 12.6% and in Alberta, by 10.7%.What should you buy in a recession to make money? ›
That said, if you have cash to invest, you may want to consider buying recession-friendly sectors such as consumer staples, utilities and healthcare. Stocks that have been paying a dividend for many years are also a good choice. These tend to be long-established companies that can withstand a downturn.Is beer inflation proof? ›
More recent data shows beer price inflation very similar to overall consumer prices (CPI) until the most recent spike in inflation. Beer's low relative price point and industry consolidation probably provide the edge in raising prices.Is the beer industry growing? ›
|Market size value in 2022||USD 731.6 billion|
|Revenue forecast in 2030||USD 1.25 trillion|
|Growth rate||CAGR of 7.0% from 2022 to 2030|
Corona and Bud Light are the most well-known beer brands in the United States. Both these brands are recognized by 85% of respondents in the U.S. Next on the list is the most valuable beer brand in the world, Budweiser, reaching a brand awareness of 84%.What is the #1 craft beer in America? ›
1) Anheuser-Busch InBev
Although sales of its flagship beer brands Bud Light and Budweiser continue to drop, AB InBev's acquisition of SABMiller recently combined with earlier rights to Corona and Stella Artois has boosted its value globally.
The beer should be fresh and cold. A brand should be consistent in taste and quality. A restaurant should offer a good selection of core brands, as well as local and regional brews.How do you succeed in beer industry? ›
- Start prepared. There's no time to learn on the job these days. ...
- Know yourself. Vision and stamina are the hallmarks of a successful entrepreneur. ...
- Stand tall. Craft exists as an alternative to industrial production. ...
- Set goals. ...
- Be nimble, be smart. ...
- Make friends.
Beer, like any good, follows the rules of supply and demand. If one of its ingredients, such as hops, gets more expensive, the end product's price can go up. If grain prices skyrocket due to increased demand for grain-based ethanol to fuel vehicles, beer prices can also rise.What city brews the most beer in the US? ›
Yuengling and Son was place on the national and state registers as America's Oldest Brewery. This is a title that we are proud of and can be seen on every bottle of Yuengling beer.Where is the most beer made in the US? ›
|Rank||State||No. of Craft Breweries|
Beer is biotechnology in one of its simplest forms. To make the alcohol, first you release the sugars from your grain of choice through soaking.Who dominates the beer industry? ›
1) Anheuser-Busch InBev
The brewer distributes its product portfolio of 500 beer brands through a massive network of over 600 independent company-owned distributors and wholesalers nationwide.
AB InBev, also known as Anheuser-Busch InBev, generated over 46 billion U.S. dollars in sales in 2021, making it by far the leading beer company worldwide. Heineken Holding and Asahi Group Holdings ranked second and third, respectively. Not only was AB InBev the global leader for beer, but the corporation was also.What is the science of beer called? ›
Zymology, also known as zymurgy, is an applied science that studies the biochemical process of fermentation and its practical uses. Common topics include the selection of fermenting yeast and bacteria species and their use in brewing, wine making, fermenting milk, and the making of other fermented foods.
Grapes are the most common fruit used as raw material for alcoholic fermentation. They are used in distilled liquor to make brandy. Historically, wine is the product of fermentation of grape species Vitis vinifera .Is beer GMO? ›
That's right, beer and tea are GMOs–even if they are labelled as "organic." Keep in mind that this list is undoubtedly incomplete: the new study relied on current genome databases, which are still missing many common foods.What is the largest selling beer in America? ›
With the unofficial title of “The King of Beers,” it is no wonder why Budweiser tops this list of America's most popular beers. What is this? This beverage tops beer sales in America, but it also carries the weight of history—Adolphus Busch first brought this beer to market in 1876.What is the biggest selling beer in the world? ›
Budweiser was the most valued beer brand worldwide in 2021, with a worth of 16.17 billion U.S. dollars. The brand was followed by Heineken in second and Stella Artois, ranked third.What state buys the most beer? ›
Corona (brand value up 21% to US$7.0 billion) retains its top position as the world's most valuable beer brand, according to a new report from the world's leading brand valuation consultancy, Brand Finance.What is the oldest beer in America? ›
- #5 – Old Milwaukee, Pabst Brewing Company, 1849.
- #4 – Blatz Beer, Pabst Brewing Company, 1846.
- #3 – Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer, Pabst Brewing Company, 1844.
- #2 – Schaefer, Pabst Brewing Company, 1842.
- # 1 – Yuengling Lord Chesterfield Ale & Porter, Yuengling Brewing, 1829.