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.
Looking for an awesome way to make a little side-coin? Well, now may be the time to re-locate to London because Meantime Brewing Co. wants to pay you to drink.
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.
You'd be forgiven if you struggled to pinpoint the flavor profile of South Australia based brewer Mike Holden's "Shale Ale". Holden elaborates: "The beer definitely has a unique flavor to it, but it is not something that is off-putting or maybe something that people will not even recognize."
Have you ever thought about where yeast comes from? It's obviously an integral part of the beer brewing process. For Indiana based brewer Robert Caputo, the source of yeast proved to be a pain point. Caputo was eager to create a beer that was 100% Indianan. He had sourced malts, hops and water from Indiana with little issue, but was struggling to find yeasts native to the state. Enter his friend, Mathew Bochman.