Sightlines — Slowdown in Craft Beer growth rate sparks media speculation

Michael Kiser

THE GIST
Reporting for CBS News, Jonathan Beer asks if the craft beer ‘craze’ is going flat. Articles such as this are becoming commonplace after the Brewers Association reported that US crafts year on year growth in 2015 was 6%, down from 19% just a couple of years ago.

WHY IT MATTERS
While we’re seeing a downward trend in the sales of beers like Sam Adams Boston Lager and New Belgium Fat Tire, this doesn’t mean that craft beers flame is burning out. Word’s like ‘craze’ and ‘fad’ are thrown around lazily by reporters that aren’t seeing the bigger picture. In addition to this, the large craft brewers that have been purchased by the likes of AB-InBev, who no longer account for part of craft beers market share, skew these figures. 

Drinkers aren’t turning back to big brands after choosing craft. Beers like Fat Tire are nicknamed ‘gateway beers’ for a reason. The market is evolving and so is the consumer. Beers like Pineapple Sculpin from Ballast Point, Otra Vez Gose from Sierra Nevada and New Belgium’s Citradelic IPA are the beers benefitting from the decline of the brands that were once central to the craft beer boom. Tastes evolve, and drinkers are simply moving on to something that is more relevant to them.

Will fruit IPA’s and Gose eventually replace amber ales and lagers and become the modern ‘gateway beer’?

— Matthew Curtis


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Is the craft beer craze going flat? Via CBS News