Back to work. Thank god.
- Of course, the rate of growth slowed. It is idiotic to think a 22% increase every year was sustainable in any business. Many in the industry scoff at the idea of saturation, but it is real and it will happen. To think that level of growth was sustainable for a long period and/or that saturation in certain markets will not happen is a fundamental misunderstanding of business. No matter how in demand your product is, eventually, it will stop being the next big thing. I’ve been saying this for two years, there will be a moment soon when many of the breweries that opened in the last three years will close. Many of them will be brewers that make great beer, but have horrible business plans and many of them will have great business plans but horrible beer.
- Here is one of the OGs of craft beer writing asking the question, “Why do I drink craft beer?” There are many facets to that answer. It is one I have been thinking about lately. I plan on answering (or attempt to answer) that and why critics are/are not necessary for a blog post next week.
- Distributors worrying that increasing the self-distribution cap is somehow going to cut into their business is understandable but overstated. Most breweries don’t want to self-distribute at a certain point because self-distribution becomes a second business they didn’t sign up for when they started making beer. Many of the brewers I’ve met and talked to that do self-distribution, want a distributor so that they can expand their footprint without having to worry about trucks, drivers, and sales reps. That is why I think along with increasing the distribution cap, the laws governing the contracts between brewers and distributors should also be changed to make it easier for brewers to get out of contracts with bad distributors.
- Brewers have been adding fruit, lemonade, and other things to beer for hundreds of years. Sours are as traditional to beer culture as pilsners. The idea that beer that doesn’t taste like beer is some new trend is absurd. Maybe the addition of watermelon or habanero peppers is new, but not by much. Coco Chanel once said something like, “Fashion is temporary, but style is forever.” Use trends to augment your business, not define it.
- Never go into a craft beer bar and ask a bartender to just give you their favorite. That can really badly for you. Trust me, I’ve seen it. Everyone’s palate and predilections are different. Don’t assume your favorite flavor is the same as anyone’s. Now, there is scientific research that tells us why.