Well, didn't this beer just burst onto the scene? If you've been active in the craft beer online community in recent months, you've almost certainly come across the vibrant, psychedelic bottle and the pink hued craft beer.
Over the past few years, many craft-beer enthusiasts have watched in horror as big beer conglomerates gobble up high-performing craft breweries. AB InBev, who owns brands such as Budwiser, Bud Light, Corona and Stella Artois, also owns ten (previously) craft breweries including Goose Island, Elysian and Wicked Weed. While, on the surface, it may seem that the slow and meticulous acquisition of high-performing craft beer brands is fairly innocuous and simply standard business practice, the results may be catastrophic to the craft beer industry.
In the modern age of beer production, the proliferation of craft beer leaves an unprecedented number of options and styles to choose from. As the 5,000+ craft breweries and traditional conglomerates jostle for market position and fight off external pressures, the battle to create the tastiest beer has never been fiercer.
As a fan of beer, I am constantly bombarded by incongruent news stories. It seems that the medical research community are unable to decide whether beer is good for you. It seems that beer, and more broadly alcohol, continues to be seen as an evil that causes a plethora of chronic diseases, conditions and ailments. But every now and then good beer news surfaces.
AB InBev's North American CEO Joao Castro Neves warns of beer losing its throne as the largest American alcohol market segment as soon as 2030. This projection is based on statistics showing a dramatic 33% loss of market share in the 21-27 year old demographic between 2006 and 2016. In the former, beer made up 65% of total alcohol consumption, falling to just 43% in 2016.
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It's hard to deny the size and economic impact of America's craft beer industry. In fact, the Brewers Association estimates that the 24.6 million barrels of craft beer brewed in the U.S. in 2016 contributed $23.5billion to the economy.